Though time currently has no meaning, with any minute progression perceived only in the changes of voice and animation style across The Simpsons marathon, showrunner Al Jean is nevertheless somehow thinking ahead to the future—and to the purely hypothetical finale to the series it supposedly holds. Should that day ever arrive, Jean says, he already has an idea for that final episode, one that gives whole new meaning to the idea that The Simpsons just goes on and on forever:
Of course, Jean is referring to the pageant that opens “Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire,” the premiere episode that kicked off both the show and these 12 days leading up to when the smell will finally prompt your concerned neighbors to alert the building manager.
He’s also referring to the theory of “eternal return”—recently popularized by True Detective as “time is a flat circle” (like a cartoon donut). This postulates that across infinite time and space, The Simpsons will just keep coming back and coming back an infinite number of times, making any discussion of it “ending” a naïve human delusion, no matter how cute.