It would be erroneous to suggest that FOX's animated institution The Simpsons isn't a show full of constants. However, one of the series' most well-known unbreakable rules is that megalomaniacal former sidekick Sideshow Bob will unsuccessfully attempt to kill Bart Simpson in every episode in which he makes an appearance. It's as sure as Nelson saying "Ha-Ha" at the misfortune of others and Cletus the slack-jawed yokel somehow having additional kids as the plot demands.
Well, this Halloween, that all changes. For one episode at least.
During a panel at Austin's ATX Festival (hat tip EW), Simpsons showrunner Al Jean made it known that this year's 26th annual installment of Treehouse of Horror will feature Sideshow Bob (voiced as always by Kelsey Grammer) finally getting his man, er, boy. Yep, Bob is literally going to murder Bart Simpson.
It's unclear what method of execution Bob will employ, but what we do know is that after accomplishing his decades-long goal, Springfield's former mayor will have no idea what to do with himself. After all, his entire identity has been wrapped up in taking out Bart since his initial arrest way back in season 1's Krusty Gets Busted. If one single-mindedly pursues a goal for that length of time, it takes over their mind. It's not like Bob will just be able to get a job at a car wash after doing the foul deed.
Of course, since these events take place in the non-canonical Treehouse of Horror format, Bart will be alive and ready to once again make Principal
Tamzarian Skinner's life hell by the following Simpsons episode. Still, these kind of canonically impossible scenarios are what the Treehouse of Horror specials do best, and it'll be cool to see The Simpsons' equivalent of Wile E. Coyote finally catch the prey he's been chasing since way back in season 5's beloved Cape Feare.
In addition to Bob killing Bart, Al Jean also announced that a fan favorite addition to the cast of The Simpsons Movie will once again be returning to the show. That's right, Spider-Pig is back! What he'll be doing is anybody's guess, although it'll likely be whatever a Spider-Pig does.
Unfortunately, those hoping for an update on the elephant in the recording booth - the sudden departure of cast member Harry Shearer - will have to keep on waiting. Things haven't changed. The Simpsons' producers still want to come to terms on a deal to bring Shearer back, but have yet to get anywhere. Here's hoping Shearer does come back, as it's highly unlikely that there exists an exact vocal match for every one of his legendary Simpsons characters.
The Simpsons premieres season 27 this fall on FOX.