Opening Sequences

Created and maintained by Chad Lehman through season 12, except where noted
Maintained by Matt Garvey (

Last revised June 6, 2024

This document describes The Simpsons opening sequence in detail, listing the types of openings used, and noting differences from episode to episode and from season to season. If you'd like to know what opening any particular episode used, search for the episode code on this page. This search will also turn up footnotes and additional variations.

For specific information on Chalkboard Gags, Lisa's Saxophone Solos, and Couch Gags, check those pages. See also Billboard Openings for many of the new variables in the WS/HD intro.

PLEASE NOTE: Since taking over this document, I have found some inconsistencies among the openings listed, capsules, and my own copies of certain episodes. These are usually accompanied by footnotes, but you may want to refer to the Ambiguities list for additional information on these or other episodes.

Please let me know if something is missing, or if there are errors. Thanks.

Starting with LABF01 in season 20, the opening has been reanimated again, but the timing is almost exactly the same, as are the component parts. I describe some differences below. For simplicity, I am keeping the same classifications for opening types. However, in the decade-plus since the new opening was introduced, the breadth of variations in both overall construction and small parts has ballooned. The former is simple enough to list out, but the latter means a lot of extra bookkeeping. Common types of variations to a single part of the sequence are enumerated in the description of each part (and cross-referenced by an *, with some episodes in multiple lists; VABF15 has many, for example); with some exceptions (in parentheses), variations that take place in "Special" openings and in-episode segments are not listed here, since those are full of variations anyway.

With a handful of exceptions, most episodes for the first 19 production seasons had a commercial break between the opening and Act I, and none before the credits (the others flipped this). Starting with KABF22 in air season 20 (one episode before the big HD debut), the break was moved partway into Act III, creating a short Act IV that led into the credits; this extra act evolved before long into a short coda or nothing at all, essentially the opposite of old episodes. But I mention it because it's really the only way clouds-only and other truncated openings could proliferate, even if they didn't take off for a few seasons!

New section for 2024: I am now listing uses of opening sequences within episodes, mostly as meta-referential parodies. It focuses on components that don't have their own documents already. This section may not be as comprehensive as I hope, so if you spot an omission, please let me know!


The Opening Sequence Types of Openings Openings Within Episodes

The Opening Sequence

  Almost each episode has this brief, lead-in scene that establishes the members of the Simpsons family and some of the characters from Springfield (or at least the title of the show). Most episodes use the standard opening or a whittled-down variation thereof, and the parts of this standard opening sequence are described below. After Season One, the opening was changed significantly, with only a portion of the original animation kept for Season Two. These changes are noted. The jump to HD was even more drastic.

Information relating to Season One's opening sequence will be given in blue, and information pertaining only to later seasons will appear in red. Further notes on the fully reanimated, high-def, widescreen intro introduced in Season Twenty will appear in green; since this is closer to its predecessor, and to avoid confusion, an absence of green should imply no substantial change in content. Of the new parts, some change; see Don Del Grande's Billboard Openings list and this one as well. (I also suspect that the variables in that list are the reason the "condensed" shortening methods gave way to the simpler removal of midsections as the HD era went on.)

Variations not identified in this document include overall differences in music timing and orchestration between seasons and major versions, length of the delay after Lisa's sax solo (and how older solos are retimed), driveway lengths, and most versions of Homer's utterances in the driveway, along with most things covered in other documents.


Fade in: "Ahh Chorus" synthesizer pad plays. "The Simpsons" materializes out of a mist on a blue screen. Clouds part, and "The Simpsons" appears. Singers intone "The Simpsons..." The camera zooms, and we move through the letter "P" into the swoop. Most of the time, except in the shortest openings, there is an additional sight gag of a character flying across the screen, making a sound or quote, and occasionally (as noted below) interacting with the lettering itself. The Billboard Openings list covers them and varying parts of the Swoop.

Season One's theme music was a bit cruder, and more... stacatto (for lack of a more descriptive term) than the version used later.

VARIATIONS:   Things besides the simple addition of characters and sound to the usual clouds and chorus. (In the SD era, the title rarely had anything extra at all outside of special openings: inaccurate "300th episode" and "301st episode" subtitles on EABF05/EABF07 may be it.)
MABF02, MABF06: Music evokes Wicked Witch of the West (only second use has title chorus)
NABF10: Futurama theme replaces title audio (no chorus, etc.)
NABF16: No chorus, just background music
PABF06, TABF06: "O" in Simpsons becomes a heart when Cupid Ralph shoots it
PABF15: Clouds start out frozen for a few seconds to allow a long sight gag (then usual motion and music)
RABF22: Bond soundalike music and view through gun sight/crosshairs, with a bullet shattering title lettering (no chorus, etc.)
SABF16: Futurama-style title and music instead of clouds and chorus
VABF19: Clouds sucked into a black hole
WABF04 (and WABF05 when used): Music and scat singing (no chorus) in jazzy 1920s/Gatsby style
WABF12: Lettering upside-down, flipped by hand of God
WABF22: Background music in a spooky minor key and goes with Act I
WABF16, XABF20: Lettering and audio are backwards, hand of God turns title around
XABF09: Pan up to the clouds from cold open, chorus new rendition
XABF19: Lettering changes to the merchandise-branding style, but with "SO" becoming "30 years" (this was the 30th season premiere), leading to a countdown clip montage of other seasons
XABF17: Banjo music (no chorus) for Bob's Burgers flavor
XABF22: Audio has the feeling of a very old episode
YABF04: Audio goes with couch gag (no chorus)
YABF08: Gray and snowy visuals (for gag)
YABF09: Gray and rainy visuals (matching establishing shot it leads to)
ZABF01: Gray and snowy visuals, Christmas music and no chorus
ZABF06: Gray and snowy visuals (matching establishing shot it leads to)
QABF13: Spy music audio (no chorus) goes with Act I
UABF03: Gray and snowy visuals, no chorus, "magical" music goes with Act I
UABF04: Black and white, more of an old-timey lead-in on music, to go with Act I
UABF06: Bagpipe version of music (no chorus) goes with Act I
OABF02: Gray and snowy visuals for typical Christmas theme
OABF04: Clouds change from blue to gray/rainy and music gets ominous, as title is "Moe Szyslak" sung by him with a discordant chorus; practically a special opening but I like it here (note that unlike most similar parodies it does NOT transition through a letter's counter, using a dissolve instead, even though that O is right there)
OABF09: Audio played on accordion and sung by "Weird Al" Yankovic to match couch gag
OABF18: Audio in ominous tone with familiar three notes (no chorus)

Springfield Swoop

Flying through the loop, we focus on one purple cooling tower. We see the power plant welcome sign, and Springfield Prison behind the plant. We fly over the power plant and tire yard, toward downtown Springfield. We move up the street past "Painless Dentistry / Candy Dandy" / the town square (lingering as Kearney and Jimbo cut the head off the statue, which lands on Ralph's head, prompting him to say something), then past the Android's Dungeon and Lard Lad (where the crow alights on the donut) and a humorous billboard of some kind, toward the purple / orange colored elementary school. The infamous streetlamp glitch happens as we move toward the school -- it snaps violently to the right (this is only in a handful of episodes in seasons 2-20). We move through the school window...

Season One's swoop is relatively crudely animated, and was redone. The difference in perspective is especially noticeable, for instance in the power plant's cooling towers -- which looked quite flat in Season One's opening. The newest opening spends a lot more time on the previous gags, so the pan to SES and Bart's classroom window is quicker, with slightly less time to read the gag before it's all in view. Also, this shot puts two windows between the front door and Bart's classroom; they are gone when he exits!

VARIATIONS:   Everything is covered in the billboard openings list, but a few swoops have additional objects:
VABF14: Nelson on a ladder spray painting the billboard
YABF08: A helicopter crashes into the billboard
Also, in some episodes, the timing of Ralph and Barney (later) sounds a bit off, e.g. RABF05 (early), VABF10 (early-ish), ZABF02 (late), but that's just an observation, not an exhaustive list.

Chalkboard Gag

(A) Bart writes on the chalkboard. Three pieces of stick-figure art hang next to Bart. There is a clock showing 3:00 PM, and wastebasket to Bart's right. A portrait hangs on the right side of the blackboard. A bookcase full of books sits behind him. Now the portrait is of Homer as an astronaut. He hears the bell, and leaves the class, (B) bursting out the front doors of the school, and flying gleefully past the flagpole. The sidewalk is crudely drawn, and there is no building... just a green grassy field and trees. Bart passes a three-story glass and concrete building, a four-story orange colored building, and some trees and bushes. Roughly the same but fully animated; now the sidewalk has Willie raking a pile of leaves, which Bart skates through, uncovering a drunk Barney beneath, who belches or utters something.

The sequence of Bart writing on the blackboard was actually redone. The animation was also much smoother as Bart bursts out the door, and the perspective problem is corrected.

Some openings include this segment only up to the departure from the classroom. Chalkboard Gag (A) refers to the shortened version, since it omits part (B).

Details on Chalkboard Gags

VARIATIONS:   Episodes where the difference is not limited to what's on the board. (Barney variations are in the billboard openings list.) (See also YABF11.)
EABF05: Bart stops writing and chops up the board with an axe, laughs as he runs out; music vamps during the swoop to make time (this was in celebration of the "300th" episode and an unprecedented modification, the opening occupying its own category until such things became far more commonplace)
HABF09: The classroom is flipped around to go with the chalkboard gag
JABF22: Bart laughs as he leaves school
MABF18: Chalkboard punishment is all over the classroom walls and Banksy (guest artist) graffiti is on school exterior (only at exit)
PABF07: Bart has Milhouse writing, text is in Comic Sans
PABF21: Bart is dressed in a tearaway white suit, rips it off as he leaves
RABF09: The blackboard is a whiteboard, text is in Comic Sans
RABF12: Chalkboard crumbles
RABF18: Not much writing animation (for somber Mrs. Krabappel goodbye)
TABF12: Bart has Lisa writing
VABF11: Bart has Skinner writing
XABF04: Bart has Homer writing
XABF08: Bart flips the board through the wall to reveal a second message (music vamps a few times to accommodate extension)
(XABF11: Bart has Homer writing)
YABF14: Bart flips the board through the wall to reveal Nelson taped to the other side (no extra time)
ZABF11: Lisa (alone) writes on the board
YABF13: Usual timing and motions, but Bart, Barney, and Willie are all absent (a single line of text reminds us why school is vacant)
ZABF12: Bart has Homer writing, and both exit the room (although only Bart goes out the front door); in what might be an editing mistake, a faint bell sound is heard early before the ordinary one
OABF13: Lots of extra characters are hanging around for 750th episode

Homer Leaves Work

Hearing the quitting whistle, Homer gleefully removes his mask, and the glowing rod he was holding pops down his shirt. A bald man stands behind Homer, eating a sandwich that he's holding with a pair of tongs. Behind Homer is Mr. Burns on the left, and Mr. Smithers on the right. As the whistle blows, they look away from a blueprint at each other. Burns looks at Homer, then puts his watch to his ear and shakes his wrist. Behind Homer, Lenny tries to swap a "3" for a "2" on the "days without an accident" sign, but falls off his ladder onto Carl, wailing. The caution sign over Homer's head has two holes on the right side, both blank / a green light on top, and a red light on the bottom / been removed entirely.

VARIATIONS:   Lenny sometimes calls out something else as he falls.
VABF14: "Uh oh!"
VABF15 (and XABF11): "Oh, not again!"
OABF13: Lots of extra characters are hanging around for 750th episode

Grocery Check-Out

Marge reads "Mom Monthly" in the check out line; Maggie is scanned. Marge is relieved to see Maggie in the cart.

"Feeble" (a "People" parody?) magazine is seen on the shelf. $847.63 is what Maggie costs (no change from the first season but slightly more legible). Colors are brighter, more orange than red, as in Season One.

Behind Marge are Patty and Selma with a cart full of Laramies. Preceding Maggie on the belt are a bottle of Tomacco Juice, a box of Mr. Sparkle, and a box of Krusty-Os. The price reads 243.26 before Maggie is scanned and 486.52 (double that) after. Marge looks mildly concerned, but smiles well before Maggie pops out of the bag. Pan to show Gerald sitting in his own cart and bag; the babies shake their fists at each other.

VABF15: When Maggie passes over the scanner, the display says "READ AGAIN" instead of 486.52
WABF19: Maggie comes out of the bag with a bottle of Szechuan Sauce (a Rick and Morty reference)
(XABF11: Gerald holds up a "Happy 635th" banner)
(UABF15: In end-credits gag of running opening quickly in reverse, the blank display changes to "REFUND", and it plays best as shown, with the word appearing as Maggie is "un-scanned" and placed on the belt)
OABF13: Lots of extra characters are hanging around for 750th episode, Maggie scans at 750.00
(35ABF12: In "Bart's Brain" opening sequence parody, the brain takes the price from 243.26 to "FRESH BRAIN")

Lisa's Sax Solo

We pan across school orchestra room. Lisa's sax solo is high-pitched compared to later seasons. After the second season, what she plays really varies, as documented in the list linked below. Largo dismisses Lisa, who walks out the door playing her sax.

People in the room (right to left): African-American kid, brown haired boy playing bass violin (back row), blonde girl with pigtails (front row), Largo, thin, curly haired girl (back row), blue haired girl, yellow haired boy.

Back row: Lewis (cymbals?) ready to crash, small pupiled African-American boy, a well groomed boy playing tuba, thin girl with purple hair playing french horn (on shoulder?), bulgy eyed boy holding blue trombone, nasty looking buck-toothed boy with green trumpet, large girl with bulgy eyes and a large nose holding a trumpet(?), hidden student, Lewis (again?), Beethoven's bust on cabinet.

Front row: red head girl in pigtails playing clarinet (front of Lewis), boy with green glasses playing clarinet, thin girl, with a large nose playing a green horn, nerdy boy wearing glasses and a green shirt playing horn, red head girl wearing a Lisa-like dress playing clarinet, Milhouse playing horn, Sherri & Terri playing flutes, Lisa playing sax.

As with many crowd scenes, this is cleaned up. Recognizable characters include (back row, right to left) Wendell, Database, Martin, Richard, and Lewis, and (front row, right to left) Janey, Milhouse, Sherri and Terri (playing video games!), and Lisa. Largo dismisses Lisa earlier, showing her longer; at the end of her solo, she ducks inside briefly for a flourish and smiles. This part may be of variable length, and a split second longer than the previous opening. Starting at the end of Season Twenty-One, her instrument occasionally becomes a trumpet, tuba, harp, theremin...

Details on Lisa's Sax Solos

VARIATIONS:   Alternate instruments are seen when they are played, as listed in the sax solo page. In addition...
NEW BAND ROOM WALLS (a bulletin board behind Largo becomes a sign reading "andante arpeggio baritone", nondescript posters near the exit become (left) a sign with "Polonaise" above a few measures of music and (right) a portrait of Chopin): VABF15, (WABF01,) WABF19, WABF20, XABF07, (XABF11 with one more sign,) YABF03, YABF14, ZABF05, ZABF13, (UABF15 end-credits gag,) OABF13 (along with lots of other characters but no Chopin poster) (and 35ABF12 Act I gag)

Homer Driving

Homer drives down the street, uncomfortably discovering the rod in his back. He pulls it out, and throws it from the window. It lands in front of Moe's Tavern.

Bart Skateboarding

The rod bounces away... and the dust clears. No dust now; the rod lands on Otto, sitting on a bench, who eats it (the rod) with a grunt. Bart comes by on his skateboard, with pursed lips in a half grin. His right foot sticks off the board, as he grabs the lamppost to help him make the corner. He skates past a pet store, and a TV store with many screens of Krusty which he turns to and faces. In passing, he grabs the bus stop sign and takes it with him. On a passing bus, a sign says "Can't get enough of that wonderful Duff."

Passengers: Bored bus driver, (first seat) dark skinned man looking out at camera, and primmed up Bart-looking man, (second seat) red haired, white skinned lady, (third seat) man rolling his eyes, woman with light blue hair, (fourth seat) tall, spindly woman with light blue hair and a pointy nose, (last seat) stocky man with purple hair.

The people waiting take off and chase the bus as Marge and Maggie round the corner.

People waiting: A brunet scowling man, an overweight redheaded woman, an older "el Barto type", a shorter, fatter spiky haired man, and a woman with white hair in a Chinese robe.

This sequence is several measures longer than the one it was replaced by.

Bart skates in with a big grin, past a store with an "Open" sign as he turns the corner... he makes a much better turn, with both feet on the board. He passes Helen Lovejoy, carrying bags from the Springfield Mall, passes a book store, dodges to the right, passes Apu with a small dog on a leash, dodges left, passes Moe holding a towel standing in his doorway, passes an approaching Barney (who belches) on his right, passes Jacques (who's walking right) carrying a bowling ball, and dodges left. TV screens with Krusty appear in the window. Bart looks for a minute, then grins again. He passes Bleeding Gums Murphy, who's facing the street with a sax around his shoulder. He passes Chief Wiggum standing on the corner, who yells and shakes his baton as Bart crosses the street. The town square, with the Jebediah Springfield statue, is seen in the background. Marge's car comes from the right, and turns on to the street Bart crossed.

Bart skates by and turns the corner. He passes Sideshow Bob swinging a sword with a whoosh, Helen Lovejoy, Apu and his kids, Moe (at Moe's), CBG, Disco Stu (who protests, sometimes audibly - "ho!" or nothing in season 20, "oomp!" in season 21), a window of TVs showing Krusty, Eleanor Abernathy (crazy cat lady), the Rich Texan (who shoots his guns), and Wiggum (who waves his nightstick). He zooms over a manhole cover, and Moleman pops out from underneath. Marge's car slams the cover down with a clang as it comes around the corner.

JABF22, JABF17: voices are supplied for the characters Bart skates past (including Helen Lovejoy, whose voice actress Maggie Roswell was in both episodes already)
LABF01, LABF05: Season 20 openings where Disco Stu is mute
LABF02, LABF03, LABF07, LABF12: Season 20 openings where Stu says "ho!" (instead of "oomp!" of 21 up)
MABF11: Sideshow Bob taunts Bart instead of the sword whoosh (it was a Bob episode)
WABF19, WABF20: Stu says nothing again (it'd been 4.5 years since the last full openings, so maybe someone forgot!)
OABF13: Lots of extra characters are hanging around for 750th episode AND Stu stays mute (another 5.5 years!)
(35ABF12: In case you were wondering, Stu is silent but still appears to cry out in "Bart's Brain")

Marge Driving

A smiling Marge and Maggie round the corner in a red sedan. Close up of a walleyed Maggie steering. Far shot of another tight curve (by a farm), which they make. Low shot of car approaching... Close up of Maggie steering again. Low shot of car approaching... They make another turn. Inside, the view pulls back to show Maggie's only steering a toy wheel. Maggie looks at Marge, then looks back at the road. They look at each other, then honk the horn.

In later seasons, the car was orange in color. Now, Grampa is seen in the passenger seat during the Marge reveal (but not until then), with Maggie in the middle. When they honk he wakes up confused and loses his dentures.

Lisa On Her Bike

Close-up on Lisa wobbling back and forth on her bike, with a large stack of books in the bike basket and a guitar-shaped instrument case behind her. She hits a bump, and all the books fly into the air... restrained by bungees. She makes a right turn (to our left) down the street. She jumps off her bike in the driveway, grabbing her books and instrument case. The bike moves into the garage, the door already opening for Homer's car, as Lisa runs to the door.

Lisa's bike and the start of the driveway sequence are several measures longer than the pan and start of driveway in later seasons.

Pan Across Springfield

A zip-pan left to right... highway, streetlamp, trees, Milhouse throwing a baseball, kids playing in a yard, Nelson and thugs with kid in trashcan, Richard and Lewis, Jimbo threatening Martin, old folks in rocking chairs (The Glicks?), Patty and Selma suntanning with cone bikini tops, Kent Brockman reporting, Sherri and Terri holding hands, Herman, Grampa and Jasper holding a book singing(?), retirement castle, man reading the retirement castle sign, old folks walking out (like those that Marge sees holding hands in 7G11), man holding thumbs up, Lou & Eddie behind a barricade, Dr. Marvin Monroe holding a clipboard, Wendell with his head out of the bus ready to vomit, Dr. Hibbert comparing notes with Monroe, blonde girl, cat-eye glass girl in street, Otto next to broken down bus, another blonde girl, bucktoothed boy from orchestra in street, strange looking mountain, a bluebird that Maude sees, Flanders house, Ned and Todd holding another bluebird, Simpson house...

The new pan is close, with many of the same gags and objects. People include Agnes and Seymour Skinner, Chalmers, Milhouse playing ball with Richard and Lewis, Willie on his tractor, Ralph playing on Frank Grimes' grave, Martin about to be beaten by the three bullies, Squeaky-Voiced Teen, Quimby and Miss Springfield wearing each other's sashes, some sort of magician (???), the sea captain holding a 3-eyed fish, Patty and Selma still sunbathing in those suits, Cletus and Brandine with a pig, Kang and Kodos in a UFO, Burns and Smithers, Kent and a cameraman, Sherri and Terri still playing video games, Krusty smoking on a wall with "El Barto" graffiti, Bumblebee Man and Luigi watching the UFO, Eddie and Lou at the bus roadblock, Snake stealing Lou's gun, Fat Tony with Legs and Louie burying someone, Miss Hoover changing the flat tire on the broken-down bus, Wendell still leaning out of the bus (sick), kids in front including Janey, Dr. Hibbert with a clipboard (but no Monroe), Duffman, Jessica Lovejoy, Mr. Teeny and Sideshow Mel, God (whose head is off-screen) fighting the devil (who's standing on a tower), and finally Rod and Todd playing in their yard, then the Simpson house.


Homer's car comes from left to right, makes the turn into the driveway and stops. From the right, Bart one-hops his skateboard across Homer's car. Homer gets out just in time to see Marge's car. He screams a short scream, and runs into the garage as her car pulls in behind. Looking over his shoulder frightened, he opens the door.

The garage door is still closed, and there's no oil stain. The door begins to open, and Homer gets out glaring at Bart, slamming the door. He dodges Lisa on her bike with a "d'oh". Lisa takes her bike up to the front door. He steps back out and screams as Marge's car approaches... He looks over his left shoulder, then his right as he runs into the garage.

Oil stain is back. The main change is that instead of running away from Marge's car and screaming, Homer is hit with the car and flattened on the hood; instead of running through the door, he is hurled grunting through it by inertia, leaving a Homer-shaped hole. Every time.

SHORT OPENINGS WITH FULL OPENING MUSIC (instead of the usual accompaniment from the start of the theme until Marge's car chases Homer, the driveway music jumps straight to the end of the theme, about where the pan would take place): SABF15, SABF18, ZABF07, ZABF19, QABF02, QABF05, QABF11, QABF14, UABF21
RABF22: Homer says "not again!" (compare to usual variety of grunts and screams)
VABF15: Homer has the couch manual (for couch gag) in his hand when hit by Marge's car
XABF17: Music stays in banjo rendition for Bob's Burgers theme of opening
YABF13: View zooms in on Homer on transition to couch gag
OABF13: Lots of extra characters are hanging around for 750th episode
ALTERNATE INSTRUMENTS ON LISA'S BIKE: See sax solo page; sometimes it's still a sax even when she plays something else for the solo, and in YABF01, which has no solo, it's a harp

Couch Gag

The family (usually) runs in and sits on the couch... see the Couch Gags page for more information. What we call a couch gag has broadened considerably over the years, and the line is most blurred by the occasional mini-stories (often by guest animators) that have little to do with couches, the living room, the returning-home narrative, etc., and by the more and more common elimination of opening components before and after the couch gag. Sometimes it's just a judgment call between couch gag and special opening (or Act I), but this is pretty generous and reasonable.

The couch is brown, and TV set is orange. A mouse hole is seen. The painting is a crooked nature painting of a pond. The TV set is blueish purple, and the rabbit ears are more sophisticated. The painting is a crooked sailboat pic. A mouse hole is seen. Mostly the same, but the TV is now a thin WS HD model, with the bent rabbit-ears still on top.

Details on the Couch Gags


The TV set (close-up) is orange-brown, with an antenna to the top left. Bottom of TV: Dials (3) are green and there are two buttons (DD bb D). Dials on right of set: Two on top, blue speaker below. On top of TV: VCR with two buttons. Rabbit ears on top. Again, a widescreen set, with four unmarked buttons on the right, speakers below. A VCR or some unit is on top still. Created by Matt Groening. Developed by James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Sam Simon. Fade out. Occasionally (when this was new), the TV mount rips out of the wall, showing some ripped sparking wires and RCA connectors poking out of a hole in the wall. Glass-crashing sound and sparks are heard.

VARIATIONS:   (TV falls off wall at the end: 8 early LABFs and NABF02, see Billboard Openings.)
A lot of episodes, especially in the HD era, have different music or visuals (or enhancements to the usual) for this part. Because the vast majority of them are either continuations of the couch gag or themed to go with it, they will not be broken down in detail. Special openings (Treehouse of Horror and Christmas in particular) are not listed, nor are differences between short and long versions of the end of the theme (or slight reorchestrations such as in LABF02), or occasions the music bleeds over into Act I.
DIFFERENT VISUAL STYLE (or extra visuals) BASED ON COUCH GAG: VABF12 (with awkward music repeat), VABF21
BOTH: 7G02/7G07, KABF03/KABF10, NABF18, RABF12, SABF06, SABF08, SABF17, VABF10, VABF20, XABF14, YABF12, ZABF01, QABF19
2F31: Matt Groening's name removed at his request
RABF07: Credits are in the audiovisual style of a Woody Allen movie to match Act I
(WABF01: TV is precariously balanced on boxes and leads directly to storyline of Act I)
OABF13: Credits are preceded by a boast about the 750th episode (why not in clouds?), causing an awkward music repeat


Types Of Openings

Full Opening (Old)
DEBUTED:   January 14, 1990   [7G02] 10 episodes
PARTS:  Title, Springfield Swoop, Chalkboard Gag, Homer Leaves Work, Grocery Check-Out, Lisa's Sax Solo, Homer Driving, Bart Skateboarding, Marge Driving, Lisa On Her Bike, Driveway, Couch Gag, & Credits.

EPISODES:  7G01, 7G02*, 7G03, 7G04, 7G06, 7G07*, 7G09, 7G10, 7G12, 7G13.

Full Opening
DEBUTED:   October 11, 1990   [7F03] 159 episodes
PARTS:  Title, Springfield Swoop, Chalkboard Gag, Homer Leaves Work, Grocery Check-Out, Lisa's Sax Solo, Homer Driving, Bart Skateboarding, Marge Driving, Pan Across Springfield, Driveway, Couch Gag, & Credits.

EPISODES:  7F01, 7F02, 7F03, 7F05, 7F06, 7F07, 7F08, 7F09, 7F10, 7F13, 7F14, 7F17, 7F20[6], 7F21, 7F22, 7F23, 8F07[1], 8F09, 8F10, 8F11, 8F14, 8F17, 8F18, 8F19, 8F20, 8F21[2], 8F22[3], 8F23, 8F24, 9F01[4], 9F02, 9F03, 9F05[6], 9F07, 9F08, 9F09[6], 9F10, 9F11, 9F13, 9F16, 9F17, 9F19, 9F20[6], 9F21, 9F22, 2F08, 2F32[5], 3G01, 3G02, 3G03, 4F16, 5F13, 5F17, 5F19, AABF02, AABF03, AABF04, AABF05, AABF06, AABF07, AABF08, AAFB09, AABF10, AABF11, AABF12, AABF13, AABF14, AABF15, AABF16, AABF17, AABF18, AABF19, AABF20, AABF21, AABF22, AABF23, BABF02, BABF03, BABF04, BABF05, BABF06, BABF07, BABF08, BABF09, BABF10, BABF11, BABF12, BABF13, BABF14, BABF15, BABF16, BABF17, BABF18, BABF19[31], BABF20, BABF22, CABF01, CABF02, CABF03, CABF04, CABF05, CABF06, CABF07, CABF08, CABF09, CABF10, CABF11, CABF12, CABF13, CABF14, CABF15, CABF16, CABF17, CABF18, CABF20, CABF21, CABF22, DABF02, DABF06, DABF07, DABF08, DABF20, EABF14, GABF15, GABF18, HABF04*, HABF14, JABF06, JABF12, JABF22*, JABF17*, KABF03*, KABF15, KABF22.

HD/WS:  LABF01[18], LABF02, LABF03, LABF05, LABF07, LABF12, LABF16, LABF17, LABF18*, LABF19, MABF07, MABF09, MABF11*, MABF14, MABF17, NABF02, NABF03, NABF05, NABF13*, RABF03, RABF05[23]*, RABF09*, WABF19*, WABF20*, OABF13[37]*. (See also SABF01, TABF07, WABF21.)

[1] Accounts from the ambiguities list, capsule, syndication cuts guide, and blackboard openings list create multiple and hazy pictures of the true nature of 8F07. The general feel is that the full opening was generated, but butchered by Fox on one or more occasions. The season 3 DVD uses the full version. -mg
[2] Chad's tapes had a short opening for 8F21, but everything else (including the season 3 DVD) seems to indicate the full one. -mg
[3] The original Fox airing of 8F22 was shortened; the timing, order, and season 3 DVD suggest this one over a condensed version for subsequent airings. -mg
[4] 9F01's first US broadcast used the short opening, but all others used the full opening; see the ambiguities list for more on the Global 9F01/9F02 switcheroo. -mg
[5] As predicted, 2F32 used a full opening for its original airing, and this is also found on the season 6 DVD. Chad's version of the list had no entry for 2F32, hence my original use of a footnote. -mg
[6] The DVD versions of 7F20, 9F05, 9F09, and 9F20 have full openings and different sax solos than previously indicated on this, the sax solo list, and other sources; it seems that Fox used to run summer repeats with shortened openings to save time, and the long versions are most likely correct. -mg
[18] On the DVD, LABF01's opening uses a different audio track, one that sounds like an early non-final version or template, with correct Ralph line but multiple differences at very low volume: Barney and Lenny outbursts (different from usual), Maggie and Gerald angry noises, cries from Sideshow Bob and Helen Lovejoy (all four normally silent), an "oomp" by Stu (much like his season 21 version), and a bit from Chief Wiggum (normally silent). The original broadcast, and likely others, did not use this version, and I am considering the DVD an error.
[23] The original airing of RABF05 was cut by several minutes to fit in "The Longest Daycare", and that used a clouds-couch-TV opening with only the last part of the couch (not the lengthy Game of Thrones parody), but all others used a full opening with the extended couch gag.
[37] OABF13 is full of additional visuals from as soon as we can see into Bart's classroom through the couch gag: in theory one character to represent each episode, just standing around, in celebration of the 750th episode. This includes opening segments I don't have variation lists for, so I note the remainder here as a catchall. Apart from the extended TV/credits, it's timed like a normal full opening.

Trimmed Opening (Lisa to Maggie)
DEBUTED:   February 16, 2003   [EABF05] 3 episodes
PARTS:  Title, Springfield Swoop, Chalkboard Gag, Homer Leaves Work, Grocery Check-Out, Lisa's Sax Solo, Marge Driving, Pan Across Springfield, Driveway, Couch Gag, & Credits.

EPISODES:   EABF05*, HABF03[15].

HD/WS:  VABF12[7]*.

[7] Slightly sloppy music editing on transition to Maggie, but full animation, unlike...
[15] The HABF03 version cuts most of the beginning of Maggie driving alone, coming in at a low shot of the car swerving and the zoom out to show Marge is actually driving. It's a few seconds overall. The music cut comes later, when the pan starts.

Trimmed Opening (Lisa to Pan)
DEBUTED:   April 28, 2019   [YABF14] 1 episode
PARTS:  Title, Springfield Swoop, Chalkboard Gag, Homer Leaves Work, Grocery Check-Out, Lisa's Sax Solo, Pan Across Springfield, Driveway, Couch Gag, & Credits.


Trimmed Opening (Lisa to Driveway)
DEBUTED:   April 2, 2006   [HABF09] 49 episodes
PARTS:  Title, Springfield Swoop, Chalkboard Gag, Homer Leaves Work, Grocery Check-Out, Lisa's Sax Solo, Driveway, Couch Gag, & Credits.

EPISODES:   HABF09*, HABF16*, HABF21[16], JABF13, JABF18, JABF19, KABF02, KABF12, KABF14, KABF20.

HD/WS:  LABF08, LABF11, LABF13, LABF15, LABF20, MABF08, MABF13, MABF15, MABF19*, MABF21, NABF06, NABF08, NABF09, NABF10*, NABF17*, PABF03, PABF04, PABF05, PABF06*, PABF07*, PABF15*, PABF19, PABF22, RABF02, RABF07*, RABF10, RABF20, SABF08*, SABF09*, SABF14*, SABF20, TABF12*, VABF07, VABF14*, VABF15*, WABF16*, XABF07*, YABF03*, ZABF05*.

[16] Strictly speaking, this is different: it goes from Lisa's solo to Homer's scream, thus skipping the first part of the driveway. For now, it's here.

Trimmed Opening (Groceries to Driveway)
DEBUTED:   November 10, 2019   [ZABF02] 1 episode
PARTS:  Title, Springfield Swoop, Chalkboard Gag, Homer Leaves Work, Grocery Check-Out, Driveway, Couch Gag, & Credits.


Trimmed Opening (Lenny to Lisa to Driveway)
DEBUTED:   May 15, 2011   [NABF14] 3 episodes
PARTS:  Title, Springfield Swoop, Chalkboard Gag, Homer Leaves Work, Lisa's Sax Solo, Driveway, Couch Gag, & Credits.


Trimmed Opening (Barney to Lisa to Driveway)
DEBUTED:   May 12, 2013   [RABF12] 4 episodes
PARTS:  Title, Springfield Swoop, Chalkboard Gag, Lisa's Sax Solo, Driveway, Couch Gag, & Credits.

EPISODES (HD/WS):  RABF12*, SABF03, VABF10[26]*, ZABF13*.

[26] The music transition to Lisa in VABF10 is odd, with the horn "wah-wah-wah-wah" from the end of Grocery Check-Out audible as Bart skates over Barney.

Trimmed Opening (Lenny to Driveway)
DEBUTED:   October 10, 2010   [MABF18] 2 episodes
PARTS:  Title, Springfield Swoop, Chalkboard Gag, Homer Leaves Work, Driveway, Couch Gag, & Credits.

EPISODES (HD/WS):  MABF18*, YABF01[32]*.

[32] YABF01's couch gag contains some nested short openings in different styles and an extra couch gag, for what it's worth: clouds through Lenny, driveway, couch, clouds, driveway, couch, clouds, driveway, couch, couch, un-nesting of all couches, TV.

Trimmed Opening (Barney to Driveway)
DEBUTED:   November 6, 2011   [NABF21] 19 episodes
PARTS:  Title, Springfield Swoop, Chalkboard Gag, Driveway, Couch Gag, & Credits.

EPISODES (HD/WS):  NABF21[19]*, RABF18*, RABF19*, RABF22*, SABF04*, TABF05*, VABF11*, VABF18, VABF19*, VABF21*, WABF07, WABF09, XABF04*, XABF08*, YABF07, YABF08*, YABF12*, YABF13*, ZABF12*. (See also QABF01.)

[19] A shortened version of NABF21's opening may have the dubious honor of being the most run on Fox network time (with a specific set of variations). Since as early as November 23, 2014's third airing of RABF21 (or before?), this has been Fox's go-to for "joined in progress" reruns when sports and other events run long. It's a 32-second version of peculiar construction, cutting from the arc of Bart's skateboard jump abruptly to his landing on the car in the driveway, then skipping the lengthy couch gag too. Fox's practice is to run some sort of title sequence, often more commercials, then a joined-in-progress announcement, and I can no longer remember what they did before this, but it wasn't as odd. They may have just run the actual opening of the rerun, and if this version debuted this night, it could be because RABF21 (unlike most episodes before it) had a clouds-only opening that wouldn't work in this situation. I can't say why NABF21 was chosen, but between its very date-specific chalkboard gag and special TV music, it's got to be one of the weirdest options to cling to for years, and it took a lot more work than just rustling up a regular short opening! Additional information would be appreciated. See also footnote at 1F01.

Trimmed Opening (Chalkboard-A to Driveway)
DEBUTED:   December 4, 2011   [PABF02] 4 episodes
PARTS:  Title, Springfield Swoop, Chalkboard Gag (A), Driveway, Couch Gag, & Credits. [20]


[20] Even though the first three of these aired in the same season, the edit point varies between all, and this opening style doesn't seem to be a template the way older ones were. In air order, these three get progressively longer: PABF02 cuts from Bart's "windup" to run out of the room to Homer's car already parked; in NABF18 he almost gets to open the door, and in PABF11 he exits and the window is fully visible (both with Homer's car still pulling in after the cut). ZABF11 is just a few frames longer than NABF18, and this opening was likely used in part because it's Lisa at the chalkboard and she doesn't skate well.

Condensed Opening
DEBUTED:   January 24, 1991   [7F11] 41 episodes
PARTS:  Title, Chalkboard Gag (A), Homer Leaves Work, Grocery Check-Out, Lisa's Sax Solo, Driveway, Couch Gag, & Credits.

EPISODES:   7F11, 7F12, 7F15, 7F16, 7F18, 7F24, 8F01, 8F03, 8F04[8], 8F05, 8F06, 8F08, 8F13, 8F15, 9F06, 9F12, 9F14, 9F15, 9F18, 1F07, 1F09, 1F10, 1F11, 1F19, 2F13[9], 3F23, 5F01, 5F05, 5F14, 5F18, 5F21, DABF04, EABF04, EABF06, EABF16, FABF01, FABF22, HABF13, KABF06, KABF10*, KABF18.

[8] 8F04's first US broadcast used a shorter opening, but subsequent US airings and all Global airings used a more full version; the season 3 DVD uses a condensed opening with all the right parts, so now it's listed here. -mg
[9] As I expected, 2F13 did use the condensed opening, as confirmed by the season 6 DVD and Simpsons Archive staff. Welcome home, 2F13 opening classification! -mg

Cut & Condensed Opening (with Chalkboard-B)
DEBUTED:   March 19, 2017   [WABF11] 1 episode
PARTS:  Title, Chalkboard Gag, Driveway, Couch Gag, & Credits.
This variant uses the music for Homer at work during the chalkboard gag, and that music doesn't transition in or out on the beat (it should have been shifted a second or two earlier).


Cut & Condensed Opening
DEBUTED:   December 16, 1993   [1F08] 47 episodes
PARTS:  Title, Chalkboard Gag (A), Driveway, Couch Gag, & Credits.

EPISODES:   1F08, 1F14, 1F15, 1F16, 1F17, 1F18, 1F20, 1F21, 1F22, 2F01, 2F04, 2F05, 2F06, 2F07, 2F09, 2F10[12], 2F11, 2F12, 2F14, 2F15, 2F16, 2F17, 2F18, 2F19, 2F20, 2F21, 2F22, 2F33, 3F01, 3F02, 3F03[13], 3F05, 3F07, 3F08, 3F10, 3G04, 4F03, 4F08, 5F03, 5F06, 5F07, 5F10, 5F12, 5F23, DABF21, FABF08, GABF05.

[12] 2F10's original airing used this opening, and so does the season 6 DVD. Previously this was listed under the short opening. -mg
[13] 3F03 was listed with a short opening when I took over this list, but the season 7 DVD uses this one, and I've confirmed the episode was originally broadcast with it. -mg

Clouds-Chalkboard-Couch-TV Opening
DEBUTED:   November 11, 2012   [PABF16] 1 episode
PARTS:  Title, Chalkboard Gag, Couch Gag, & Credits.
Music mostly matches the short opening until the couch gag comes in.


Clouds-Chalkboard-Couch Opening
DEBUTED:   March 31, 2019   [YABF11] 1 episode
PARTS:  Title, Chalkboard Gag, & Couch Gag.
View starts outside classroom and zooms in, very unusual. Music for chalkboard is uncharacteristically majestic, perhaps to match Act I in this one-off.


Short Opening
DEBUTED:   April 25, 1991   [7F19] 213 episodes
PARTS:  Title, Driveway, Couch Gag, & Credits.

EPISODES:   7F19, 8F12, 8F16, 1F01[0], 1F02, 1F03, 1F05, 1F06, 1F12, 1F13, 2F31*, 3F06, 3F09, 3F11, 3F12, 3F13, 3F14, 3F15, 3F16, 3F17, 3F18, 3F19, 3F20, 3F21, 3F22, 3F24, 4F01, 4F04, 4F05, 4F06, 4F07, 4F09, 4F10, 4F11, 4F12, 4F13, 4F14, 4F15, 4F17, 4F18, 4F19, 4F21, 4F22, 4F23, 4F24, 5F04, 5F08, 5F09, 5F11, 5F15, 5F16, 5F20, 5F22, 5F24, DABF01, DABF03, DABF05, DABF09, DABF10, DABF11, DABF12, DABF13, DABF15, DABF16, DABF17, DABF18, DABF22, EABF01, EABF02, EABF03, EABF07*, EABF08, EABF09, EABF10, EABF11, EABF12, EABF13, EABF15, EABF17, EABF18, EABF19, EABF20, EABF22, FABF02, FABF03, FABF04, FABF05, FABF06, FABF07, FABF09, FABF10, FABF11, FABF12, FABF13, FABF14, FABF15, FABF16, FABF17, FABF18, FABF19, FABF20, FABF21, GABF01, GABF02, GABF03, GABF04, GABF06, GABF07, GABF08, GABF09, GABF10, GABF11, GABF12, GABF13, GABF14, GABF16, GABF19, GABF20*, GABF21, GABF22, HABF01, HABF02, HABF05, HABF06, HABF07, HABF10, HABF11, HABF12, HABF15, HABF18, HABF19, HABF20, HABF22, JABF02, JABF03, JABF04, JABF05, JABF07[17], JABF08*, JABF09, JABF10, JABF11, JABF21, KABF01, KABF04, KABF05, KABF07, KABF08, KABF09, KABF11, KABF13, KABF17, KABF19. (See also 2F02[11], DABF14[10], WABF02.)

HD/WS:  LABF04, LABF06, LABF09, LABF10, MABF01, MABF02*, MABF03, MABF04, MABF05, MABF06*, MABF10, MABF20, NABF01, NABF04, NABF07, NABF12, PABF08, PABF09, PABF10, PABF13*, PABF18[21], RABF04, RABF14, RABF15, SABF06*, SABF11, SABF15*, SABF17*, SABF18*, TABF01, TABF02, TABF06*, TABF08, TABF10, TABF11, TABF13, TABF14, TABF16, TABF19, TABF20, VABF02, VABF04, VABF06, WABF06[28], WABF10, WABF12*, XABF01, XABF14*, XABF17[31]*, XABF18, XABF20*, YABF16, YABF19, ZABF07*, ZABF19*, QABF02*, QABF05*, QABF11*, QABF14*, UABF21*.

[0] Side note: the 1F01 opening became infamous in the early days of syndicated reruns as it replaced the openings of a few dozen episodes from seasons 1 to 6 (see couch gag list and syndication cuts guide). It was probably meant as a simple way to shorten the runtime of those episodes, since the opening was short and so was the couch gag, but this practice also overlooked the fans' enjoyment of the variety of couch gags (not to mention chalkboard gags etc.). Since the first five seasons went into syndication together, before feedback could be made, it makes sense that all but one of the affected episodes are from that period. See also footnote at NABF21.
[17] The original US broadcast of JABF07 was severely shortened, and the opening was left out completely, with the first part of the episode (itself an introduction) taking its place.
[21] The original Fox (and Global!) airing of PABF18 used a special opening (q.v.) to mark the week's US presidential election, but all repeats had this one instead.
[28] WABF06's third airing (August 27, 2017) replaced the short opening with a special eclipse-watching one (and TV credits, q.v.).
[31] XABF17's opening is actually followed by another (normal sounding) cloud and title chorus, panning up to Act I. BABF19 does something similar but was originally broadcast with a commercial break first. See "Openings Within Episodes".

Short Opening (with Chalkboard)
DEBUTED:   May 5, 2002   [DABF14] 1 episode
PARTS:  Title, Chalkboard Gag (A), end of Driveway, Couch Gag, & Credits.


[10] This opening cuts from Bart exiting his classroom to Marge's view of Homer running from the car. It has the same length as a short opening, but the music matches each part. The chalkboard gag was apparently a one-time response to a rumor of the show's imminent end, so this was probably just spliced in at the last minute in a way that maintained the timing. In syndication and on DVD, it uses a plain short opening, but for its unique premiere format it's getting filed here.

Short Opening (Minus TV)
DEBUTED:   May 5, 2013   [RABF13] 2 episodes
PARTS:  Title, Driveway, & Couch Gag.

EPISODES (HD/WS):  RABF13, WABF03. (See also YABF01*.)

Clouds to Couch Opening
DEBUTED:   April 29, 2012   [PABF12] 28 episodes
PARTS:  Title, Couch Gag, & Credits.

EPISODES (HD/WS):  PABF12, PABF14, SABF07, SABF13, SABF16*, SABF19*, TABF15, VABF01, WABF08, WABF13, XABF12, XABF13, ZABF01*, ZABF15, ZABF21, QABF19*, UABF01, UABF09, UABF14, UABF15[34]*, UABF16, OABF01[35], OABF09*, OABF10, OABF19*, OABF20, 35ABF03, 35ABF10. (See also RABF05[23]*.)

[34] See "Openings Within Episodes" list; I'd like to avoid being confusing by renumbering older footnotes so I'm leaving this here.
[35] OABF01 has a very long couch gag whose music is tracked in from the full opening, starting just before Maggie and Marge beep the horns!

Clouds & Couch Opening (No TV)
DEBUTED:   December 23, 2012   [RABF01] 9 episodes
PARTS:  Title, Couch Gag.

EPISODES (HD/WS):  RABF06, RABF11[24], RABF17[25], XABF19*, YABF04*, YABF06, YABF20, QABF09, UABF02. (See also RABF01[22] to explain debut date.)

[24] RABF11's couch gag actually starts the plot along, which is probably the reason for the cut ending.
[25] RABF17 had different contest-winning couch gags on Fox and Global, but both used the same style of opening. This list doesn't typically mention changes within components between airings, but the regional couch gags on the same airdate are a different curiosity.

Very Short Opening
DEBUTED:   April 23, 1995   [2F02] 3 episodes
PARTS:  Title, Credits.

EPISODES:   2F02[11].

HD/WS:  TABF04, QABF20[33].

[11] The original broadcast of 2F02 used the same opening as 1F06, but for some reason this ultra-short opening was used on its sole Fox repeat on the date above. Count this with the short openings if you like (and mark the debut by TABF04 on January 25, 2015); I'm keeping it here for now, though. See also DVD companion. (And to think this was once the shortest conceivable opening!) -mg
[33] QABF20's audio includes a harp sting between parts, as if serving as the button for a couch gag that isn't there. Perhaps one was cut late in production, or maybe it's just sloppy editing.

Couch & TV Opening
DEBUTED:   May 7, 2017   [WABF14] 5 episodes
PARTS:  Couch Gag, Credits.

EPISODES (HD/WS):  WABF14[29], YABF22, UABF10*, UABF19, OABF06[36]. (See also WABF15 below.)

[29] Shortly into Act I, the title and chorus appear as a gag, but this list is complicated enough already.
[36] OABF06's couch gag has the tail end of the theme, starting at the horn sting characteristic of the transition from the driveway, almost as if the start of a short opening were just lopped off. The episode was about 10 seconds short, too, so maybe one was. See also "Openings Within Episodes".

Couch & TV Opening (with Restart)
DEBUTED:   May 21, 2017   [WABF15] 1 episode
PARTS:  Couch Gag, Credits, Title, Springfield Swoop, Chalkboard Gag, partial Homer Driving.
As Homer throws the radioactive rod, the restarted opening becomes Act I, with Homer getting stuck in traffic. (Why the couch gag was there at all is a mystery.) During the clouds, the music jumps forward 5-7 seconds in the full theme, so it's already on Groceries while Bart skates over Barney, and abruptly stops as Homer hits traffic. But this is all close enough to existing opening components that it needn't be stuck as a special one.


Clouds & Half-Swoop Opening
DEBUTED:   February 4, 1990   [7G05] 2 episodes
PARTS:  Title, partial Springfield Swoop.
Image freezes as SES is visible down the street, transitions into Act I, music flourishes while credits roll.

EPISODES:  7G05, 7G11.

Clouds-Only Opening
DEBUTED:   May 22, 2011   [NABF15] 84 episodes
PARTS:  Title.

EPISODES (HD/WS):  NABF15, NABF20, NABF22, PABF01, PABF20, RABF01[22], RABF21, SABF05, SABF10, SABF22, TABF09, TABF17, TABF22, VABF03, VABF05, VABF09, VABF13, VABF17, VABF22, WABF04*, WABF22*, XABF03, XABF05[30], XABF10, XABF15, XABF21, XABF22*, YABF05, YABF09*, YABF10, YABF15, YABF21, ZABF03, ZABF06*, ZABF08, ZABF10, ZABF14, ZABF16, ZABF18, ZABF20, ZABF22, QABF03, QABF04, QABF06, QABF07, QABF08, QABF10, QABF12, QABF13*, QABF15, QABF17, QABF18, UABF03*, UABF04*, UABF05, UABF06*, UABF07, UABF08, UABF11, UABF12, UABF13, UABF20, UABF22, OABF02*, OABF03, OABF04*, OABF07, OABF08, OABF11, OABF12, OABF14, OABF15, OABF16, OABF18*, OABF22, 35ABF01, 35ABF02, 35ABF04, 35ABF05, 35ABF06, 35ABF07, 35ABF09, 35ABF11, 35ABF12. (See also WABF05[27]*, cold & clouds category below.)

[22] The original airing of RABF01, where it wasn't preempted, used a clouds-only opening, on both Fox and Global; the episode was presumably being shortened to add a current-affairs piece on the (US) "fiscal cliff" budget problem at the end. When the second airing ran a week later, that bit was gone, and the opening grew to include a long repeat couch gag (though the music was edited to fit since there was no credits TV). This would have seemed like the "real" version of the episode, but the third and fourth airings and even syndication match the premiere, an unusual level of persistence for a fleeting gag, so I'm considering the clouds-only opening definitive. Since the clouds&couch opening ran before RABF06 premiered, though, it did debut with RABF01!
[30] XABF05's opening is hard to classify, since it leads from the cloud title to a parody of an old procedural's teaser and title sequence, with stylized created/developed-by credits in there. Is it a special opening? Is it clouds and another very-broadly-defined couch gag with no/special TV? The kids seem to like it... TO A POINT. For now, it's this.

Cold & Clouds-Only Opening
DEBUTED:   September 25, 2011   [NABF16] 2 episodes
PARTS:  Cold open, Title.

EPISODES (HD/WS):  NABF16* (CBG teases the "Nedna" answer), XABF09* (Maggie helps break Gunsmoke's episode record).

Couch-Only Opening
DEBUTED:   March 6, 2016   [VABF08] 3 episodes
PARTS:  Couch Gag.
The first two are "Plymptoons" that definitely fit as couch gags, and the third is beyond debate.

EPISODES (HD/WS):  VABF08, XABF06, ZABF09. (See also YABF01*.)

No Opening
DEBUTED:   December 5, 2010   [MABF22] 5 episodes
PARTS:  None. Nothing that could be classified as a special opening, separate vignette, or anything. Only the first two are true no-openings, fifth pretty close apart from some stylized credits, but the third has to go somewhere. The fourth is somewhere in the middle, using a framing device too uniform to count as a separate opening.


[27] WABF05 is the second half of a double episode that was not split up in its original airings. But in syndication, for example, each half runs separately, and then each uses the same clouds-only opening of WABF04.

Special Opening
DEBUTED:   December 17, 1989   [7G08] 64 episodes
PARTS:  Varied. (Each Treehouse of Horror is included here, as well as various unusual or non-intros.)

EPISODES:   7G08, 7F04, 8F02, 9F04, 1F04, 2F03, 3F04, 3F31, 4F02, 4F20, 5F02, AABF01, BABF01, BABF21, CABF19, DABF19, EABF21, FABF23, GABF17, HABF08[14], HABF17, JABF01, JABF14, JABF15, JABF16, JABF20, KABF16, KABF21, LABF14, MABF12, MABF16, NABF19, PABF17, RABF08, RABF16, SABF01, SABF02, SABF12, SABF21, TABF03, TABF07, TABF18, TABF21, VABF16, WABF01*, WABF02, WABF17, WABF18, WABF21, XABF02, XABF11*, XABF16, YABF02, YABF17, YABF18, ZABF04, ZABF17, QABF01, QABF16, QABF21, QABF22, UABF17, UABF18. (See also JABF07[17], PABF18[21], WABF06[28], OABF04*, OABF05, some of which are outlined below.)

DESCRIPTIONS (lack of * does not mean lack of variations)

Treehouse of Horror (many of which end with special TV credits):
7F04: Marge disclaimer and tombstones (straight into Act I)
8F02: Marge disclaimer and tombstones (straight into Act I)
9F04: Homer disclaimer (Hitchcock) and tombstones, plus skeleton couch gag
1F04: Tombstones, plus zombie couch gag
2F03: Marge disclaimer interrupted by Bart and Homer, tombstones and more, mismatched parts couch gag
3F04: Krusty headless horseman, plus noose couch gag
4F02: Homer lights his hand on fire, plus grim reaper couch gag
5F02: Network censor, plus electrocution couch gag
AABF01: Halloween-style reanimation of blackboard and driveway, plus Freddy and Jason couch gag
BABF01: Kang and Kodos tell bad warm-up jokes, plus past TOH character couch gag
BABF21: "The Munsters" parody opening
CABF19: Simpsons trick-or-treating at Burns mansion
DABF19: Simpsons and Ned summon ghost of Maude (first to say "Treehouse of Horror" on-screen)
EABF21: Violence erupts over a candy fight, Kang and Kodos bemoan November scheduling (first to say full correct title, with Roman numerals, on-screen)
FABF23: "Keeping it Kodos" (starring Kang!)
GABF17: Kang and Kodos accelerate a baseball game and destroy the universe
HABF17: Burns and Smithers "crypt-keeper" intro
JABF16: Marge kills animated Fox promo bugs and bakes them into a meatloaf
KABF16: Jab at 2008 US election with voting machine changing Homer's vote (six times) and chewing him up
LABF14: Halloween monsters prowl around town like a guys' night out
MABF16: A bit about monsters watching TV on DVR, then parody of "The Office (US)" opening
NABF19: Homer goes "127 Hours" trying to find a safe place to gorge himself on candy
PABF17: The Mayan calendar "prediction" that the world will end in 2012
(PABF18 airing 1[21]: Not a TOH, but that year's aired in early October and this opening's similarity to KABF16's opening makes it a clear relative; Homer weighs candidates in 2012 US election, chooses wrong and is sucked into a sweatshop in China, with brief title-on-TV)
RABF16: Expanded, monster-filled parody of full opening except Homer driving (the only TOH with a sax solo)
SABF21: Glitzy award-show style introduction with previous TOH clips
TABF18: Spooky trick-or-treating song by guest animator John K.
VABF16: Tedious confrontation with past enemies, 600 episode count-up, plus Planet of the Couches couch gag
WABF18: "The Sweets Hereafter", candy jokes in a candy bowl in CGI
XABF16: Oyster-eating contest in northeast US
YABF18: The Omen parody for 666th episode (has main credits of producer, writer, director here instead of in Act I)
YABF17: "Thanksgiving of Horror" episode uses TOH format, complete with old-style Marge warning (also has main credits)
ZABF17: Take on the 2020 US election and list of the many, many things that made the loser so terrible
QABF16: Bambi parody where "Barti" and family take revenge on the hunters
UABF17: "(Treehouse of Horror Presents) Not It" episode with matching title cards belongs here too, with a "Krusto" teaser separating the title from the start of the episode, also making up for...
UABF18: Episode title written on a live-action book cover leading into the first story, and that is all; a major departure from all TOH episodes before it, barely counting as a separate opening at all
OABF17: Not much better, just a few seconds of the episode title (not series title) revealed as a charcoal rubbing on a gravestone, but distinct from first story

Variations on usual opening:
3F31: 138th Episode Spectacular intro by Troy McClure, then modified clouds/swoop, blackboard to driveway, many couch gags (all set to main theme, well, with trims and minor speedups etc.)
HABF08: Edited version of UK live-action opening "The Real Simpsons" (parts of all sections except pan)[14]
JABF20: Reanimated "reconstruction" followup to the movie (contains clouds, both parts of chalkboard gag, Bart skateboarding through crowd, driveway, couch gag, TV; music jumps all over but includes invisible sax solo)
MABF12: Lip-synched music-video adaptation of Ke$ha's "Tik Tok" that has some elements of the usual opening (Largo in band room, short pan, couch gag, TV)
SABF12: "Simcraft" in a vague Minecraft style, with its own short bridge between swoop and driveway elements
TABF07: Full opening (closer to season 2-19 version, with season 1 music arrangement) in a retro video game style, with lots of extra sight gags
WABF01*: Version of modern opening where things keep going wrong and the music keeps pausing and restarting, with Barney punishing Bart, Homer choking on the rod, Lisa smacking into the wall during her solo, Maggie actually driving (into a lake), and only Bart left at the couch gag (does not have Homer driving, Bart skating through town, pan, or driveway, so it evens out to match the time of a full opening)
WABF21: "The Shrimpsons", full under-the-sea opening parody
XABF11*: "The Aquarium" (MG24) almost correctly noted as "30 years ago" for record-tying 635th episode (and approximate 30-year anniversary of that Ullman short), then vamp-filled first half of full opening where Lisa's sax solo leads directly to action (with a couch gag cutaway a minute later)
ZABF04: "The Flanderseseseses", a parody following the Flanders clan, including clouds, Todd at chalkboard (A), extended groceries (the price actually changes and winds up at 243.26, i.e. the modern pre-Maggie tally), driveway, couch, TV (created by God, etc., with real credits in Act I)

Christmas variations on usual opening (new animation in particular):
JABF01, KABF21: Reanimated with Christmasy variations, skips groceries and Marge driving (slight musical differences between the two), only SD examples
SABF01: Full (many elements reused in later years but each version distinct)
TABF03: Full except for swoop
WABF02: Short
XABF02: Full except for swoop
YABF02: Approximately Lisa to driveway minus swoop
QABF01: Barney to driveway (and decidedly unwintry couch)

7G08: Title card for Christmas special (straight into Act I)
4F20: Spinoff Showcase introduction by Troy McClure
JABF14: "24" opening parody and setup
JABF15: "Family Portrait" (MG25) somewhat inaccurately specified as "20 years ago" for 400th episode and approximate 20-year anniversary of Ullman shorts
RABF08: Breaking Bad title parody
SABF02: "MusicVille" (a Silly Simpsony), in the vein of Disney's "Music Land"
TABF21: "Fat", parody of Pixar's "Feast"
(WABF06 airing 3[28]: Six days after a major eclipse crossed the US, the opening was swapped out for a warning-too-late by a blind Homer not to stare at it)
WABF17: "The Serfsons" (also episode title), showing residents of Springfield living the serf life
QABF21: "Simpflix" (Netflix parody) menu leading to "A Serious Flanders" selection
QABF22: "Simpflix" menu again, now browsing "chapter" selection within "A Serious Flanders" to recap part 1

[14] The original broadcast of HABF08 used an edited version of the live-action opening, but its repeat used a traditional animated opening with different components. The animated version does not match any of the other categories, though; it's like a full opening, late to start, missing the grocery check-out, and trimming part of Maggie driving. Note that this is not the way the live-action one was cut.


Openings Within Episodes

  Some episodes use elements of the opening sequence within the main episode body, almost always as a spoof. Components whose bonus uses are enumerated in their own documents, like chalkboard and couch gags, are not listed here if used in isolation. Reuse of sax solo tunes is noted in that document, and a few weird opening styles at the actual start, not to mention spoof variations used for show opens, are classified above or listed as footnotes. Some variations within these gags are noted above also.

Most of these examples are generally separated from the opening, others not quite an extension of it. I'm sure some are missing, especially from the middle years, so please remind me about them!


9F22: "The Thompsons" at the start of Act III, showing the family's witness-protection life at Terror Lake; music and chorus mimic regular opening clouds, music continuing in usual style, counter of P leads to a few "swoop"-like vistas and adaptation of driveway scene at houseboat, with a nautical couch gag that ends with an early music sting (no credits/TV)

4F07: "The hurricane" cloud spoof in the middle of Act I, simply adapted music and chorus in a dark, stormy sky, the red letters blowing away in the wind

BABF19: Duplicate of typical cloud opening begins Act I (after a full opening and commercial break), leading into the faux documentary as the P opens onto a still of the family and music fades

XABF17: Act I begins with a normal cloud segment and chorus, panning up to Act I rather than passing through the P, after the main opening is done in an alternative music style

UABF15: In the second half of the end credits, a second couch gag starts out of nowhere, then begins to reverse, and the full opening (minus TV) runs in reverse from there at tremendous speed; this has several gags about the reversal of time (billboard, chalkboard, Maggie price), and the audio is based on the album version of the main title, meaning a classic sax solo and no sound effects; none of this seems to have anything to do with the episode or any need for filler material

UABF21: In the middle of Act III's rapid-fire collection of real and fake clips, unused ideas, etc., an isolated Homer-driving segment with the usual music (at first) takes a turn when the green rod turns a buff man on the street into Moleman after landing in his drink, leading to awkward silence, horror for his date, and an end-of-theme music sting

OABF06: Start of Act I places the episode title ("The Many Saints of Springfield") in classic wobbling yellow letters against stormy gray clouds with lightning, moody non-theme music plays (with no attempt to sing all that!), and the O leads to the episode action (see also [36] since this is the only cloud segment in the episode!)

35ABF12: "Bart's Brain" (episode title) parody of much of opening sequence occurs early in Act I when Bart decides to buy the titular brain in a jar, as something of a self-aware fantasy sequence inserting pranks with the brain into these settings, accompanied by a heavy metal theme instrumental; blue clouds darken and lightning appears as the title and familiar three notes come on, leading through the second A to the exterior portion of Chalkboard-B (from Herman's), Homer leaving work (Bart places jar in his suit while rod bounces away), brain at supermarket (taking scanner from 243.26 to FRESH BRAIN), havoc instead of a sax solo, Homer finding brain instead of rod while driving (barreling out of control, running over Otto, flipping the car), Bart skateboard sequence with brain caught from Homer's car, and couch gag

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