Is the unaired Simpsons episode featuring Bart's gruesome death a real thing, or just an urban legend?
For some time now, word around the web has been that an episode called "Dead Bart" exists somewhere in a Simpsons-related vault, but that it will never air and was probably never intended to air. Cartoonists and animators produce R-rated and bizarre versions of their own characters in private all the time, just to have a little fun, so it's entirely plausible that Matt Groening and company would've done the same with the Simpson family at some point or another. Thus, the rumor that "Dead Bart" was produced and then locked away, never to be seen by the public unless you happened to find a supposedly genuine, very grainy leaked video online, was born. If you've heard the rumor before, it might have been accompanied by this text:
"You know how Fox has a weird way of counting Simpsons episodes? They refuse to count a couple of them, making the amount of episodes inconsistent. The reason for this is a lost episode from Season 1.
"Finding details about this missing episode is difficult, no one who was working on the show at the time likes to talk about it. From what has been pieced together, the lost episode was written entirely by Matt Groening. During production of the first season, Matt started to act strangely. He was very quiet, seemed nervous and morbid. Mentioning this to anyone who was present results in them getting very angry, and forbidding you to ever mention it to Matt. I first heard of it at an event where David Silverman was speaking. Someone in the crowd asked about the episode, and Silverman simply left the stage, ending the presentation hours early. The episode’s production number was 7G06, the title was Dead Bart. The episode labeled 7G06, 'Moaning Lisa', was made later and given Dead Bart’s production code to hide the latter’s existence."
The same source claims that "Dead Bart" features the Simpson family going on a plane trip together, but while being his usual, mischievous self, Bart ends up breaking a window on the plane and getting sucked out, falling to his death. After an apparently very realistic view of his corpse, the show's second act features a surreal take on the Simpson family's grief, then cuts to one year later, when this supposedly happens:
"Act three opened with a title card saying one year had passed. Homer, Marge, and Lisa were skeletally thin, and still sitting at the table. There was no sign of Maggie or the pets.
"They decided to visit Bart's grave. Springfield was completely deserted, and as they walked to the cemetery the houses became more and more decrepit. They all looked abandoned. When they got to the grave, Bart's body was just lying in front of his tombstone, looking just like it did at the end of act one.
"The family started crying again. Eventually they stopped, and just stared at Bart's body. The camera zoomed in on Homer's face. According to summaries, Homer tells a joke at this part, but it isn't audible in the version I saw, you can't tell what Homer is saying."
Sounds very creepy, but does it exist?
No. "Dead Bart" is not real.
According to Brian Cronin, who writes frequently about pop culture legends over at Comic Book Resources, there's a very simple explanation for the "Dead Bart" story. It was crafted for a website called Creepypasta, which specializes in the telling of creepy (but fictional), urban legend-like tales that are designed to take on a life of their own online. You can read the whole "Dead Bart" entry here. It actually sounds like a fascinating piece of animation, even though it doesn't exist and the purported videos of it are simply spliced together from other Simpsons episodes.