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Watch Homer descend a conspiracy hole as The Simpsons Season 34 opener pays homage to Don’t F**k With Cats (EXCLUSIVE)

The Simpsons returns Sunday for its 34th season with an episode loosely inspired by the Netflix documentary Don’t F**k with Cats. Variety takes a first look at the episode; scroll down to watch!

This series, which won an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Nonfiction Program in 2020, was about a group of amateur internet investigators who launch a manhunt to find a suspect accused of animal cruelty — and worse. In The Simpsons premiere Habeus Tortoise, Homer visits the zoo and discovers that the 150-year-old tortoise has gone missing. He then becomes part of an internet group determined to uncover the truth behind the animal’s disappearance.

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“It’s about what it’s like with internet detectives and how people find community in internet stuff and mystery,” said The Simpsons executive producer Matt Selman. “Homer feels kind of stupid and dumb after humiliating himself. He goes to the zoo to cheer himself up, but his beloved turtle is missing. And so he joins this internet group of Don’t F— With Xats-style cyber sniffer dogs to try to track down the turtle. This well-intentioned group of internet cybersniffers is going down a conspiracy rabbit hole to the point where the group is now more about wanting a mystery than actually solving the mystery.”

Additionally, Selman added, “It certainly contains a lot of references and easter eggs to current conspiracy theories. And there’s a lot of paella in there… the community building power of paella is amazing.” Broti Gupta is the episode’s credited writer, while Matthew Faughnan is the director.

One of the following episodes: Marge has a crush on her peloton teacher, which makes Homer jealous. In the episode “Step Brother from the Same Planet,” Melissa McCarthy voices Homer’s stepbrother, who is quickly becoming his rival. And in another episode, Marge becomes a segment producer on a daytime talk show hosted by Krusty the Clown.

“She realizes that the cost is putting on a beautiful show every day,” Selman said. “It’s incredibly toxic behind the scenes on a Krusty version of The Ellen Show. The pressure of churning out so much nice stuff takes a heavy toll on Marge’s soul.”

Guest stars in this episode were Drew Barrymore. “We’re going to hopefully have Marge appear on ‘The Drew Barrymore Show’ to kind of promote her,” he said.

Inspired by When Harry Met Sally, the episode “When Nelson Met Lisa” will guest star Simu Liu. Another episode satirizes the world of Roblox (“Game Done Changed”). Homer teaches Duff Man how to be a better father in another episode (“From Beer to Paternity”), and there’s a hockey episode starring Moe and Nelson.

“Then of course there’s the one where we solve the mystery of the ‘Simpsons’ predictions, which we just did in a very silly way,” Selman added.

But the centerpiece of fall will be a double dose of Treehouse of Horror episodes, marking the first time in the show’s history that there have been two spooky episodes in a single Halloween.

One of this fall’s two Halloween episodes will be a full-length parody of It, with Krusty playing the evil clown Pennywise. The traditional Treehouse of Horror XXXIII includes a section that Selman described as “a super love letter to the classic ‘Simpsons’.”

James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Al Jean and Matt Selman are EPs from The Simpsons. The season premiere airs Sunday, September 25 at 8:00 p.m. ET on Fox; Check out a first look below:

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