The greatest cat and mouse game in cartoon history will finally end this fall when Bart Simpson meets his unseemly demise at the hands of Sideshow Bob on The Simpsons‘ annual Halloween special, Entertainment Weekly reports.
Executive producer Al Jean revealed the plot during a Simpsons panel at ATX Festival in Austin, Texas over the weekend. “I’m one of the people that always wanted to see the Coyote eat the Roadrunner,” Jean said. “I hated frustration comedy, so we’ll scratch that itch.”
Voiced by Kelsey Grammer, Sideshow Bob was introduced in Season One, where his first of many nefarious schemes — framing Krusty the Clown for armed robbery (“Krusty Gets Busted”) — was foiled by Bart and Lisa. After failing to blow up aunt Selma in Season Two (“Black Widower”), Bob’s quest to murder Bart began in earnest in Season Five (“Cape Feare”) and has continued, futilely, for over 20 years.
Of course, the “Treehouse of Horror” episodes have always deviated from the Simpsons canon, and Bob’s sweet vengeance won’t have any real narrative repercussions beyond that one episode (then again, the show’s regular episodes have done this too; see, Armin Tamzarian).
According to Jean’s Twitter, The Simpsons will return for its 27th season on September 27th; “Treehouse of Horror XXVI” will air in late October or early November. Be sure to have a bag of kettle chips ready, the perfect side dish — for revenge.
In other Season 27 news, Jean teased the return of Plopper, AKA Spider-Pig, Homer’s beloved swine from The Simpsons Movie, as well as an homage to Boyhood centered around Bart. “It’s not a parody, it’s more of a theft,” Jean reportedly cracked during the ATX panel.
There was, however, no news on the potential return of Harry Shearer, who voiced a number of beloved Springfieldians (Principal Skinner, Mr. Burns and Ned Flanders, to name a few) and left The Simpsons at the end of Season 26. While co-creator James L. Brooks said the show would go on without the actor, he was still hopeful they would be able strike a deal to bring back Shearer.