Think back to 1995. Remember asking ourselves, "Who shot Mr. Burns?" Remember the debates? The yelling? The threat of not being allowed to find out who shot Mr. Burns if you didn't clean your room like you'd been asked? (I can't be the only person who had TV used against her by her parents.)
Now, 18 years later, "The Simpsons" are upping the ante: this year, we ask ourselves which "Simpsons" character is going to die. Show producer Al Jean revealed the reporters recently that one of the series' characters will be killed off in the upcoming season.
But who? Who?!
"I'll give you a clue that the actor playing the character won an Emmy for playing the character," revealed executive producer Al Jean on a conference call with reporters. "But I can't say who it is."
There have been 25 Emmy winners for "The Simpsons" since its 1989 premiere, so this hint doesn't exactly narrow it down -- particularly since Emmy winners Dan Castellaneta and Hank Azaria voice so many characters amongst themselves. However, this lack of information won't stop us from playing the guessing game. Here are five possibilities for who is most likely to be killed off:
Sideshow Bob (voiced by Kelsey Grammer)FOX
In 2006, Kelsey Grammer walked away with a statue for his turn as the evil genius Sideshow Bob, so bidding the character adieu would make sense if Grammer and the show's creators hope to retire him. After all, it's been years (and years and years) since Sideshow Bob swore revenge against a certain Bart Simpson, and unless that little dude plans on performing "HMS Pinafore" again, the only way to keep Sideshow Bob on top of his game might be to remove him altogether.
Abe Simpson (voiced by Dan Castellaneta)FOX
Bart, Lisa, and Maggie have had it pretty easy in terms of familial deaths, so maybe it's through Abe Simpson they learn how to say goodbye to somebody they love. Homer would also be able to grow as a character: he'd have to come to terms with having lost both parents, and learn more about himself in the process.
Edna Krabappel (voiced by Marcia Wallace)FOX
We all know Miss Hoover had lime disease (it was lime disease, right?), but Ms. Krabappel has been spared non-romantic drama -- until now. However, death on top of her arguably sad life might be the darkest (and perhaps most interesting) path "The Simpsons" could take -- especially if she dies after finding happiness. (Which would arguably give the series some major Emmy fodder. Think of the tears!)
Apu Nahasapeemapetilon (voiced by Hank Azaria)FOX
Apu's been manning the counter of the Kwik-E-Mart for 25 years, and he's somehow managed to escape the bevy of armed robberies that seem to take place there. Think about it: would you really be surprised if Apu passed on after a robbery gone awry? You'd be heartbroken, yes. But surprised? Considering Springfield's lacklustre police department, probably not.
Barney Gumble (voiced by Dan Castellaneta)FOX
Nothing -- and I mean nothing -- would preach the dangers of alcoholism like Barney Gumble dying from years of abusing his liver and other organs. Frankly, the whole show has been building up to this moment. How is he still alive? And where does he keep getting enough money for alcohol?
Who do you think will be killed off "The Simpsons"? And who do you hope it isn't?