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Here is a story. It has 12 parts that were scrambled (each part in one line). The title shows up in some part of the story, but I omitted it.

🚗👨‍🦲⏏️🥒🍴🛹😂➡️🙋‍♂️🤷‍♀️ 8👶🏾🙍🏾‍♂️ 🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂👮‍♂️👀🛹➡️












Can you unscramble it, describe what each step means and retell the story? What is the title and where it shows up? Can you list the main characters?


  1. There are MANY different versions of this story around and they vary REALLY A LOT. However, almost all of them follows the same basic sequence.
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Just to clarify: does "12 parts that were scrambled" mean (1) each part is scrambled, but the sequence of parts is correct, or (2) each part is as it should be, but the sequence of parts is scrambled, or (3) each part is scrambled, and then the parts are shown in a scrambled order? $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Jul 19, 2019 at 0:13
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @GarethMcCaughan It is the number 2. $\endgroup$ Jul 19, 2019 at 0:13

1 Answer 1


This is

the introduction to every episode of The Simpsons. I am using this, which is the first version I found, as my reference; the details of the plot differ from episode to episode.

We begin with

☁️☁️☁️☁️ (a cloudy sky, on which the name of the show appears).


⚛️/OOOOO🔥/🍩/🖼️ (we see the Springfield nuclear power plant, then a tyre fire (thanks to Stiv for pointing that bit out in comments) and then what I think is the town hall -- where one of the other sequences needs to be inserted; see below. Then the local donut shop, and then a big billboard).

We continue on to

🏫⬛✍️✍️✍️😂🔔🛹⬅️↘️🍂🥴↗️👨‍🦰 (we see the elementary school and look through a window to a classroom where Bart is writing lines; the bell rings and he runs out, to be seen a moment later leaving the school on his skateboard; he jumps into a pile of fallen leaves, causing some consternation)

and then cut to

👨‍🦲🥒↗️↙️⬅️2→3🙎‍♂️🙎🏾‍♂️⏬ (Homer with a lump of green radioactive material that I suppose does kinda resemble a cucumber; a "N days without an accident" sign has N changed from 2 to 3; the people making the change fall off their ladder)

at which point

🏪🔵🛍️👶💲🛒/👶👀👶:😠 (Homer leaves -- this isn't shown in the emoji -- and then the scene changes to a supermarket where Marge is at the checkout; perhaps the blue circle represents her hair; Maggie is on the conveyor belt, and after being scanned and deposited in Marge's trolley she has a staring match with another baby)

and then again we have an abrupt change of scene to

🎶🎶🎶🎶🌞🎷🎶⬅️🎷 (the school wind band where Lisa is playing her saxophone exuberantly, is sent out and leaves still playing)

and yet another to

🚗👨‍🦲⏏️🥒🍴🛹😂➡️🙋‍♂️🤷‍♀️ 8👶🏾🙍🏾‍♂️ 🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂👮‍♂️👀🛹➡️ (Homer is driving his car, throws his radioactive fuel rod or whatever it is out of the window where it is eaten by someone sitting on a bench; Bart skateboards past, and encounters lots of people including a policeman)

and yet another to

🚘👶↩️👶↪️🔵🔊👶🔊 (Maggie appears to be driving Marge's car; Marge -- yup, that blue circle is definitely her hair -- is actually driving and honks the horn)

at which point

👨‍🦲⬅️🚗/🚲🌞🎷/🛹😂/🚘😱🏃‍♂️ (Homer's car pulls up to the Simpsons' garage, Bart's skateboard bounces off its roof, Bart is nearly knocked over by Lisa's bicycle -- either those last two bits are the wrong way around or the order varies between episodes -- and then Homer walks in front of Marge's car and ends up being carried on its front into the garage and flung into the house)


🛋️👨‍🦲🔵👶🌞😂❕ (we see the whole family converging on the couch in their living room, usually with some peculiar and amusing twist; in the "reference" intro linked above, this "couch gag" goes on rather longer than usual)

after which

📺 they all end up watching the television, and the episode begins.

My list so far hasn't included



it refers to something that (at least in the version of the intro I've linked to above) comes in the middle of one of the other sequences, and which I had mentally filed as "must be a thing that's different every time" and therefore didn't think of trying to match with this, but as Stiv kindly points out in comments it's a permanent fixture in the Simpsons intro these days. It comes between the tyre fire and the donut shop in the second item: two miscreants saw the head off a statue and it falls onto someone else.

The title

is "The Simpsons", and it shows up at the end of the first "part".

The main characters are

👨‍🦲 (Homer) 🔵 (Marge) 👶 (Maggie) 🌞 (Lisa) and 😂 (Bart).

Credit where due:

I missed the tyre fire and failed to identify the falling-head sequence; thanks to Stiv for pointing those out in comments.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Nice spot! The O's and flame BTW is rot13(N cvyr bs oheavat glerf va gur fpenclneq). $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Jul 19, 2019 at 5:20
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Also, in the latest intro just after this sequence (from my prev comment) rot13(gjb fpubby guhtf (obgu znyr) fnj bss gur urnq bs gur fgnghr bs Wrorqvnu Fcevatsvryq. Vg snyyf bss naq ynaqf ba Enycu Jvtthz.) That's your missing one :) +1 $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Jul 19, 2019 at 5:32
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, of course. I did see that in the one I linked but mentally filed it as "this is surely a bit that varies"... $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Jul 19, 2019 at 10:30
  • $\begingroup$ WELL DONE. rot13(Gurer n srj, zbfgyl byq, rcvfbqrf jurer Yvfn neevirf orsber Oneg. Ohg va zbfg bs gurz Oneg neevirf svefg. Fbeel vs gung pnhfrq pbashfvba.) $\endgroup$ Jul 19, 2019 at 14:46
  • $\begingroup$ rot13(OGJ, gur Ubzre yrnirf -- guvf vfa'g fubja va gur rzbwv -- vg vf npghnyyl fubj nf n yrsg neebj va gur yvar orsber. Fb "ur yrsg".) $\endgroup$ Jul 20, 2019 at 5:46

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