The producer of The Simpsons has issued a lengthy response to fans who noticed a "continuity error" in the latest episode, reminding them that the beloved cartoon family does not age.

Matt Selman addressed fans on Twitter this week after eagle-eyed viewers pointed out a "timeline shift" in the long-running series following a flashback scene which depicted Homer as a teenager in the '90s.

Given previous flashback episodes show Homer and Marge meeting for the first time as teenagers in the '70s, then again in the '90s with Homer starting a grunge band, fans were quick to question the throwback.

One tweeted of the characters' ages: "Homer was now a teenager in the late '90s, meaning his hypothetical birthday is later than Bart's was at the start of the show.

"Homer is now younger than Bart."

Another weighed-in referencing one of the series' most iconic episodes: " … this means Maggie (who wasn't born) didn't shoot Mr. Burns. Perhaps it was the young '90s kid Homer."

"Abraham Simpson fought in World War II, they literally can't be doing this," one more added.

The age of The Simpsons’ characters has again come under scrutiny from fans. Picture: Supplied.
The age of The Simpsons’ characters has again come under scrutiny from fans. Picture: Supplied.

Responding to the swirling confusion, Selman referred to the timeline as having "Silly Putty paradoxical continuity", therefore meaning Homer's childhood era can be shifted from episode to episode at the writers' discretion.

"Continuity Alert: Sunday's @TheSimpsons playfully reinterprets the show's timeline to allow Homer to be a teenager in the early '90s," he wrote.

"The Simpsons is a 32-year-old series where the characters do not age, so the 'canon' must be elastic / contradictory / silly. This does not mean other beloved classic @TheSimpsons flashback shows didn't happen.

"None of this happened. It's all made up. Every episode is its own Groundhog Day that only has make sense for that story (if that)," added the producer.

He continued: "There is no @TheSimpsons 'canon' or 'non-canon.' There are only stories. If all these crazy things really happened to one family the characters would be in a mental hospital.

"If you love, hate or are completely indifferent to our Silly Putty paradoxical continuity, thank you so much for watching / caring about @TheSimpsons at any point in its 100000 years of existence," he cheekily concluded of the show's 32-year run.

Since it's very first ever episode in 1989, the characters have been the same age.

Homer and Marge are in their 30s, while Bart and Lisa are 10 and 8 respectively. Youngest Simpson Maggie has forever been one-year-old.

Last year, The Sun reported fans were convinced they had spotted Homer's "real age" after rewatching an old episode.

The scene in question showed Homer's driving licence, which stated his birthday as May 12.

The year of his birth is listed as 1956, making the character 64 years old in real time.

According to his drivers licence, Home would be 64-years-old with the series’ ‘floating timeline’. Picture: Supplied.
According to his drivers licence, Home would be 64-years-old with the series’ ‘floating timeline’. Picture: Supplied.

The Simpsons has been making headlines lately after the show seemingly predicted some of 2020s biggest news events.

Fans have suggested an episode foretold the invasion of giant "murder hornets" which were spotted in the US last year.

In the show, Springfield is hit by an invasion of killer bees.

Simpsons enthusiasts have also claimed the long-running show predicted the coronavirus pandemic in the same 1993 episode.

In the episode, everyone in Springfield is dying to get their hands on fancy blenders as juicing becomes a popular fad in the town.

One scene shows a factory worker in Japan coughing all over the blenders before they are shipped to the US.

The virus - called the Osaka Flu - then spreads throughout America.

But fans failed to note that the Osaka Flu fictionally originated in Japan, while COVID-19 spread from Wuhan, China.

The Simpsons famously predicted a Donald Trump victory years ago. Picture: Supplied.
The Simpsons famously predicted a Donald Trump victory years ago. Picture: Supplied.

Bill Oakley, a former writer for The Simpsons, previously described the claim the show predicted the coronavirus pandemic as a "stretch", saying the episode was based on other events that had already happened.

"I would say in general when people say The Simpsons has predicted something it is just that we were satirising real life events from years before and because history keeps repeating it just seems like we were predicting things."

To date, the program's greatest prediction of all time remains Donald Trump's former presidency.

The show referenced Donald Trump as the US president in the episode 'Bart to the Future' in the year 2000 - when Lisa Simpson is president and has to clean up his mess - 15 years before he even announced he was running for office.

Speaking to news.com.au, the voice of Lisa Simpson, Yeardley Smith, said of the episode: "They literally thought, 'What's the silliest, most outrageous, dumbest idea for a president we can possibly think of?'"

Originally published as Simpsons boss defends 'timeline error'


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