The Simpsons’ ‘Who Shot Mr. Burns?’ episode could have been very different

A newly unearthed pitch reveals the writers' initial plans for the iconic episode

The iconic Simpsons episode ‘Who Shot Mr. Burns?’ could have been very different, a newly unearthed pitch has revealed.

The two-parter aired either side of the 1995 summer, with the mystery of the episode’s title its central focus. At the end of part two, it is revealed that Burns’ assailant was Maggie Simpson all along.

However, the original pitch for the episode featured a very different criminal at its heart – Barney Gumble, who was initially pegged as Burns’ assailant due to a since-scrapped plot point involving Mr Burns demolishing Moe’s Tavern.


Check out the full, original pitch for ‘Who Shot Mr. Burns?’ below.

Last week, a fictional Simpsons word entered the dictionary.

In 1996 episode Lisa The Iconoclast, Lisa begins a historical investigation into the origins of Springfield founder Jebediah Springfield and discovers that he was a violent pirate who clashed with founding father George Washington.

At the start of the episode, we see an educational recreation of Springfield’s life, where the word ’embiggen’ is used for the first time.


Now, it’s been announced by the Merriam-Webster dictionary that ‘Embiggen’ is one of 850 new words to enter their definitive list, with the definition listed as “to make bigger or more expansive.”

Their entry for the word also recognises The Simpsons too, stating that Lisa The Iconoclast was the first noted usage of the word.