“Mapple” Lampoons the Cupertino Faithful on The Simpsons

Apple fans found their beloved company satirized Simpsons-style last night. The latest installment of the Fox cartoon featured a “Mapple” store in the beginning of the episode, a tech store where hip, young t-shirted employees take brand loyalty very seriously and display an inordinate amount of devotion to their bespectacled leader. Sound familiar?

The Mapple Store bears an uncanny resemblance to the 5th Avenue Apple Store, with the exception of being in Springfield’s Mall and not New York City. Lisa is amazed at the MyPods, MyPhones, and the Braniac Bar, where smug customer service representatives deal with Comic Book Guy’s complaints about the latest Mapple OS. Homer is intrigued by the dream-fueled, imagination-powered MyCube, whose function isn’t entirely clear, and which glows to show you that it’s not on.

The brief Mapple segment manages to deal pretty harshly with the Apple faithful, positioning the company’s customers as a slavish bunch who’re willing to go to any lengths to support and defend their favorite fruit-logoed institution. The Mapple store clientele quickly gathers to hear the words of their precious leader, Chief Imaginative Officer Steve Mobs, when it’s announced that he has an amazing surprise to unveil. Bart intervenes here, using the store’s P.A. system to alter the C.I.O’s message. According to Bart-as-Mobs, each Myphone costs $8 to make and is sold for $500, and the false rivalry between Microsoft and Apple is just a clever ruse to encourage adamant, lucrative partisan fanboy-ism.

I haven’t gone into explicit detail, since I think it’s worth checking out for yourselves. Of course, since it’s The Simpsons, things are exaggerated for the sake of humor, but there’s definitely a kernel of truth underlying all that cynicism. I had a special, “guilty-as-charged” moment when Mapple customers simultaneously opened their wallets at the mere mention by Mobs of a “life-changing” announcement. If I catch so much as a whiff of a new Apple product, I get out the budget and start making some room.