Back in the golden days of The Simpsons, the 'Who Shot Mr Burns' episodes was the show at its peak. It was the ultimate TV cliffhanger in 1994 and had a whole generation of kids trying to work out who the culprit could be.
Ultimately we were all way off as it emerged that it was the not-so-innocent Maggie that was behind the shooting but one of the episodes' writers Josh Weinstein has revealed the original pitch for the storyline on Twitter and things initially looked like they were going a different way.
"This is very rough," the pitch begins. "The story has to basically be about Mr. Burns making six mortal enemies. Obviously Homer, maybe Bart, and possibly other major characters like, Apu, Barney, etc. Perhaps he fires Smithers."
"Usually the way these things happen is there is some big business deal brewing. We thought it could be a big real estate thing where Burns is going to buy this block of downtown area and demolish it to build some crazy Burns new thing, and it includes Moe's Bar, and maybe the Kwik-E-Mart and maybe Patty and Selma's apartment."
"[In] the end we have to decide a character we're willing to sacrifice. It could be Barney, who has been driven to madness by the imminent destruction of Moe's bar.
"Maybe he could be sent to jail for a short period of time for attempted murder.
"We could have it be somebody else but it would really be satisfying if it were not some cheap-out guy like Burns' brother who suddenly appeared at the last minute.
"Selma, having a secret affair with Burns. Or Patty. Or he's going with Patty and Selma and the two of them found out."
So things could have worked out very differently for some residents of Springfield but as Weinstein says in the tweet, on the very next page someone suggested Maggie and sure the rest is history.
Take a look below:
Summary of our pitch for "Who Shot Mr. Burns" from the June '94 story conference notes.
Neat to see how this developed (we thought it could be Barney but on the very next page -so within minutes of discussing it- someone suggests Maggie) And Patty & Selma could've been suspects. pic.twitter.com/8O3mOdY7vr
— Josh Weinstein (@Joshstrangehill) March 11, 2018