Great Job, Internet!: Flash back to ’Nam with Principal Skinner

In the early years of The Simpsons, the writers didn’t necessarily have any long-term game plan for the show, let alone for any of its many, many supporting characters. As revealed in the DVD commentary tracks, they just tried various strategies and kept what worked. One successful tactic was picking out a throwaway joke or casual reference from a previous episode and then embroidering upon it in later shows. For example, in an episode called “Separate Vocations” from season three, Springfield Elementary‘s Principal Seymour Skinner briefly mentioned that he’d seen “some awful things in ‘Nam.” As the show progressed, Skinner’s horrific experience in the Vietnam War became a cornerstone of his character. His dramatic, easily-triggered PTSD flashbacks even became a running joke on the show. Now, a supercut by a YouTuber called Beer Baron collects all of Skinner’s painful Vietnam memories in one place.

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