The best things about spending a few hours (all right, pretty much the whole weekend) watching the marathon broadcast of The Simpsons on FXX? One: avoiding work around the house. Two: the barrage of hockey references scattered throughout the first few seasons.
There was "Lisa On Ice," where a failing grade in gym class leads Lisa to become a star goalie for the local peewee team. "Treehouse of Terror IV" featured a jury of the damned that included the starting lineup of the 1976 Flyers. And then there was "Bart The Lover," the episode in which Bart cut out a picture of Gordie Howe from an old book to fool lovelorn teacher Edna Krabappel.
The show's affection for the great game didn't end there. In later years, the writers built a couple of couch gags around the Stanley Cup. In one Season 24 opener, the entire family was visualized as trophies, with baby Maggie as the Cup. In a Season 16 bit, the living room was turned into a rink so that Homer could skate the Cup around the couch.
All good fun, right? Well, almost.
According to longtime writer Mike Scully, there was one reference in a Season 9 episode—"The Last Temptation of Krust"—that the league thought crossed the line:
NHL sent a letter about Krusty drinking out of (and throwing back up into) Stanley Cup, but cool Fox lawyer said to ignore. — Mike Scully (@scullymike) August 25, 2014
Nothing like ignoring a legal warning. And it's a good thing that they did. If they hadn't, we might have missed out on this:
Given all that the Cup has been through over the years, it wouldn't be surprising to learn that somebody had actually thrown up into the trophy ... but Krusty was probably the first cartoon clown to do so.