'The Simpsons' Will Reveal Secret About Flanders in Tonight's 700th Episode

The Simpsons crosses another huge milestone this week — its 700th episode — and it has a big [...]

The Simpsons crosses another huge milestone this week — its 700th episode — and it has a big reveal in store for fans. According to Fox, the new episode will come with a huge revelation about everyone's favorite nice guy next door, Ned Flanders. Series producer Al Jean spoke about the episode ahead of time in an interview with Variety.

The official synopsis of this weekend's Simpsons episode reads: "The Simpsons learn a secret of Flanders' past and discover a never-before-seen room in the Simpson home." The episode is titled "Manger Things" and premieres on Sunday, March 21 at 8 p.m. ET on Fox. Jean said that the idea for the episode came straight from series creator Matt Groening himself. He said it would tackle a sight in the opening credit sequence that has not been featured in the show in all of its three decades on the air.

"The thought was, Matt Groening wanted to do an episode featuring that little room above the garage that you see every week, but we've never been in," he explained. "That features big in this episode, and I thought it would be great if Homer and Flanders has sort of a secret bond that we never knew about, which is revealed in an episode that dates six years before the present. We're careful not to say what year that is."

Jean continued: "And we do we have a flashback where Maggie Roswell returns as Maude Flanders and you see Maude and Ned and Homer and Marge before Maggie was born. I always love doing Flanders episodes; Harry [Shearer] doing the voice is so great."

The Simpsons is going strong in its 32nd season now, even after more than 30 years on the air. It has evolved alongside fans, growing up with multiple generations now yet never losing its place as the champion of animated sitcoms. Season 32 premiered on Fox on Sept. 27, 2020, and will contain a total of 22 episodes, so it will end on Sunday, May 23, 2021.

This season still finds the creative team behind The Simpsons dealing with the controversies about racial representation within the show. The series was already under fire after the release of Hari Kondabolu's documentary The Problem with Apu, which led actor Hank Azaria to step back from the role. This year, the show announced that no white actors would voice non-white characters at all going forward. That means Carl Carlson, Bumblebee Man, Kumiko, Julio and Dr. Hibbert were all recast.

The show has not missed a beat over these distractions so far. The Simpsons' 700th episode airs on Sunday, March 21 at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.