Who says tax season can’t have a fun component to it? Plenty of TV shows have certainly had fun with tax season and produced some memorable episodes as a result.
Here are five favorites.
Homer Simpson and the trillion-dollar bill
During the ninth season of the iconic cartoon series, "The Simpsons," Homer is lying around the couch laughing at a TV report showing a mass of people at the post office trying to mail their tax forms off before the deadline.
“Will you look at those morons?” he chuckles. “I paid my taxes over a year ago.”
Homer is then reminded by daughter Lisa that you have to pay taxes EVERY year, sending him into a panic.
After hurriedly filling out a false form and racing to the post office, where he threw the package inside before the doors closed, the IRS comes knocking on his door, ready to bust him for his fraud.
But before throwing Homer in jail, the IRS strikes a deal, saying Homer can avoid prison if he goes undercover to help recover a missing trillion-dollar bill possessed by his boss, Mr. Burns.
Homer, Mr. Burns and Smithers end up in Cuba, where Fidel Castro takes the trillion-dollar bill.
A ‘Honeymooners’ classic
Legendary character Ralph Kramden from "The Honeymooners" went into a panic when he opened a letter from the IRS summoning him to its offices, especially since he thought it was his refund.
Kramden then stressfully looks through his return again and frustratingly pours over tax code, much to the delight of the audience.
In the end, the reason that the IRS summoned him? Because he forgot to sign his return.
The Solomons, the alien family on “3rd Rock from the Sun,” had to be like humans and pay taxes for the first time in one hilarious episode.
They discovered they owed $9,500, and began a plan to get out of it by first lying on their return, which reworked the numbers to where the government owed them hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Sally also set up a pretend hairdressing business at home, which backfired because women started to come in, expecting haircuts.
Ultimately, the family receives an audit and the fear they will be discovered as aliens.
All about loopholes
In the late 1980s, “Roseanne” was a popular sitcom, and a show dedicated to paying taxes showed why.
Throughout the entire episode, John and Roseanne frustratingly read aloud the instructions from the tax booklet and then head down to the local tax office to see how much you have to earn before getting issued a 1099.
After Roseanne said she couldn’t find any information about 1099 in the booklet, the office worker quickly turns to the page and points to a couple of lines.
Roseanne reads it and then responds, “Well, that’s the one page I skipped.”
Annoyed at the question, the office worker tells Roseanne lines at the office wouldn’t be as long if people could read simple instructions in the booklet.
In a tirade, Roseanne then said, “Us regular people, we’re paying more taxes than the rich people, because they got all the lawyers to figure out all the loopholes. I want to find loopholes.”
As people in the line cheer Roseanne’s every word, the worker then asks what her name is.
Roseanne then gives a fake name as the audience laughs.
Al Bundy vs. the IRS
Who would have thought the legendary character on the sitcom “Married with Children” would have problems during tax season?
After errors by Peg on the tax return lead to an audit where the family has to pay $5,000, Al comes up with a solution to get the money: Sell Peg’s red hair.
To say it mildly, Peg isn’t supportive of the idea, and the two battle all episode over the hair issue.
Ultimately, Al gets the money he needs to avoid the audit by selling some hair from the back of his dog, Buck.
Do you have any other favorite moments of television shows portraying tax season? Let us know in the comments below.
This story was first published in 2019. It has since been updated.