One episode of The Simpsons saw Flanders meet his Canadian counterpart, resulting in the memorable quote “They warned me Satan would be attractive.”
Here’s Ned Flanders’ memorable “They warned me Satan would be attractive” gag from The Simpsons explained. The Simpsons originally started as a recurring sketch on The Tracey Ullman Show, with Phil Hartman’s Troy McClure once dubbing these sketches on the show itself as “Crudely drawn filler material.” The Simpsons series debuted in 1989 and became enormously popular, thanks to its great characters and superb comic writing. Fox was eager to cash in on its popularity, flooding the market with comics, video games and Bart even earned a hit with the extremely 1990s single “Do The Bartman.”
While it’s true that modern seasons of The Simpsons lack the freshness and wit of its early years, it’s still a beloved TV institution. It’s also one of the longest-running, having surpassed previous record-holder Gunsmoke in 2018 for the most episodes of a scripted primetime series. The Simpsons season 32 began airing in late 2020, while a sequel to 2007’s The Simpsons Movie is currently in development.
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The Simpsons have had an almost embarrassing amount of great one-off characters over the decades too, from supervillain – and world’s greatest boss – Hank Scorpio to The Cayman Islands Banker or Homer’s doppelganger Guy Incognito. Loveable Ned Flanders got his very own doppelganger – outside of relatives like Ted Flanders anyway – during season 16 episode “Midnight Rx.” The story of this particular episode sees Ned accompany Homer, Grampa Simpson and Apu on a quest to Canada to smuggle back prescription drugs to Springfield.
It’s during one such trip that Ned encounters the Canadian Ned Flanders, and he and his supernaturally polite double get on very well. It’s only when this friendly Canadian Devil pulls out a “reeferino” and offers it to Ned does the latter proclaim “They warned me Satan would be attractive.” Ned naturally finds Canadian Flanders attractive because they’re basically the same person, but some casual cannabis use was something that was never going to fly with old Ned.
This throwaway gag also led to another case of The Simpsons giving eeriely accurate real-world predictions. In this case, the Canadian Flanders offers up the aforementioned “reeferino” because “it’s legal here,” and over a decade later Canada actually would legalize marijuana for recreational use. The show most recently returned to Canada for the fittingly titled season 30 episode “D’oh Canada,” which saw Lisa declared a political refugee there. The episode made sure to run through all the Canadian cliches with tongue firmly in cheek, including an appearance by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – though in the episode itself he was voiced by Lucas Meyer.
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