Pinafore,” the episode has entered the realm of the sublime. “When Flanders Failed” reverses the dynamics between Homer and Flanders, though, and for the first time, we see Flanders spiraling downwards instead of his erratic neighborino. The episode’s ending is one of the series’ most poignant moments ever. In 2000, Patrick Stewart told the BBC, “I think my appearance in The Simpsons and an appearance that I did on Sesame Street … were perhaps the two most distinguished bits of work that I’ve done in the U.S.” Do we agree? RELATED: 20 Simpsons Mistakes That Slipped Through Editing. Leading the charge is Homer, until he learns that Apu isn’t from this country and he’s not supposed to be here. It’s uncharacteristically reserved, and its final sequence — which finds Homer realizing some of his flaws as a dad and reaching out to his daughter to the extent that he can — is genuinely touching. Bart chafes at Ned and Maude’s God obsession and strictness, but Lisa finds that she appreciates the routine. And you can sense it. Bart … It’s also about how being an adult isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. The Simpsons is essentially a sitcom, but over time, it has taken on a role not unlike that of Saturday Night Live — an institution that’s expected to comment on the state of culture. However, it should not be ignored. Bart, Milhouse, Nelson, Martin, Todd, and Database sneak into their neighboring city on a rescue mission, only to find their beloved tree in an impound lot. Throw your vote away!”) The first two stories, though, have an imaginative depth that qualifies them as real science fiction (gags and all). The Simpsons has been on the air for over thirty years, churning out some of the most iconic pieces of American television comedy ever. The Simpsons goes sex-positive. Never one to shy away from a reference, only The Simpsons could pull off an episode like this following an NFL game. Votes: 2,401. The Simpsons best episodes ranked for you to review them at your own leisure, watch them for full entertainment. This time, after paying off all his debts, he quits the power plant to work at a bowling alley. The writing and directing effectively show the world both from Bart and Lisa’s eyes, as well as Homer and Marge’s, in the same episode. However, "Homer's Barbershop Quartet" relives Homer's unexpected brush with fame with his old-timey musical group, The Bee Sharps. Back in 2014, we assembled this list of the 100 most essential Simpsons episodes as a guide for fans both young and old, and for those who have yet to even see a single episode. However, when Apu gets busted for selling expired meats — primarily to Homer — and is subsequently fired, he is suddenly thrust outside those confines. NEXT: The Simpsons Seasons 1-30 Available On Disney+ From Launch. “Holidays of Future Passed” just feels like the show operating at its very best. Then 9/11 happened, and it was taken out of syndication. But these eight are more correct than any of the others.correct than any of the others. The episode stars Lisa as its Robert Langdon, as she searches for an ancient gem as a way of finding Maggie. Lisa develops a crush on him, fueled mainly by her realization that Bergstrom’s sensitivity and love of learning fill needs that her often brutish and anti-intellectual dad isn’t equipped to handle. After Bart chucks her saxophone out the window, Lisa is heartbroken. Although Homer knows exactly what he loves — food, and lots of it — he’s unable to put his admiration into words that aren’t “SCREW FLANDERS,” so he gets Lisa to translate his drool into something more “groin-grabbingly transcendent.”. It’s a classic tale of sibling rivalry that’s prompted by the threat of Lisa failing gym. Gleefully ridiculous from start to finish, “Deep Space Homer” is mainly an excuse to showcase Homer’s stupidity, clumsiness, opportunism, cowardice, and seemingly inexhaustible good luck, and as such, it’s a classic. The problem is, those “secrets” end up being Homer and Marge’s actual marital problems and sexual particularities. Beyond Mindy, the episode succeeds in not selling Homer out, by letting him honestly feel the temptation. Rather than being lustful or playful, there’s a nervousness and a discomfort about her. The show always delivers a Gatling gun of jokes when the Simpsons … Unlike most sitcoms, there is no one structure for a I episode: An episode could have one story, two, three, 22. That reliability keeps “Duffless” grounded, despite an appearance from the Duff Blimp. Woo-hoo! The final shot — a roll call of future public-works scandals, confirming that Springfield learned nothing from this disaster — is oddly poignant. Written by the great Conan O'Brien, the episode is packed with his outlandish humor. After three decades on the air and more than 650 episodes, Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie have officially moved into the Mouse House. Because The Simpsons’ universe essentially resets every episode, Moe is living a life not unlike the sequence in Groundhog Day where Bill Murray keeps on trying to find new ways to kill himself. An homage to Rear Window — there are two moments when Bart literally sees a similarly injured Jimmy Stewart staring back at him through his telescope — “Bart of Darkness”’s two plots work hand in hand. (Man in crowd: “Well, I believe I’ll vote for a third-party candidate.” Kang: “Go ahead! Yet another of Homer’s dream jobs. Kirk loses his job and tries rather pathetically to reinvent himself as a single guy, even dating a radio-station employee named Starla and recording a demo; Luann has better luck, hooking up with an American Gladiator who goes by the name of Pyro. Director: Wesley Archer | Stars: Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith. (Ha!) The final segment was memorable at the time for expanding into computer animation. He falls well short of his goal, but Marge and Lisa chip in, and all of a sudden, the Simpsons are ON A BOAT. However, The Simpsons managed to pull it off in a hilarious and satisfying way. But the most recent seasons have still featured some fantastic episodes that are just as good as anything from the show's … When a heat wave descends upon Springfield, the Simpsons buy a pool, immediately making Bart and Lisa the most popular kids in town. Here, of course, the “something” is nothing less than America itself, the compromises and corruptions of which she is forced to confront after going to the nation’s capital following her victory in an essay contest. “What’s the difference between this lamb and the one that kissed me?” Lisa asks her family, pushing her dinner plate away. Marinating in despair over her unpopularity, she resolves to reinvent herself during a family vacation to a beachside town, amping up the symbolism by bringing along an empty suitcase. You can literally pinpoint the second when audiences fall in love with “I Love Lisa”: It’s that fateful scene in which Ralph clutches his chest after Lisa, who is fed up with his courting, explodes and tells the poor guy, “Now, listen to me, I don’t like you! The Simpsons has addressed almost every grown-up topic under the sun, but this one’s pure wonderful throwback. Marathon" is currently underway on FXX! Ever. If early Simpsons episode were tales about a family (whereas later ones were about a family and a town), “The Way We Was” was the first step in the long road to Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. With season 32 premiering this Sunday, it's time to take a trip down memory lane and rediscover the best Simpsons episodes from the show's many, many decades on the air. Homer, a regular there, sees her walk in and falls in love at first sight. You can now watch all 30 seasons back to back on Disney Plus, but what if you want to skip to the best ever episodes instead? Shelbyville was oft-mentioned on The Simpsons before “Lemon of Troy,” but this was our first good look at it, expanding its world that much further. Interweaving pop-culture parody and social satire in the best Simpsons tradition, “Marge vs. the Monorail” is a treasure trove of quotable bits and indelible moments, many of which brush against the surreal. Weinstein Sexual Misconduct Settlement Approved for $17 Million by Judge, Conan O’Brien Remembers Frequent Comedy Partner Larry King. The episode is filled with great gags like the "No Homers Club", a guest appearance by Patrick Stewart, and rousing musical number, all of which make for some great fun. Homer’s Triple Bypass (S4) Some of the best Simpsons episodes deal with quite serious topics and few come more serious than Homer having a massive heart attack. Few Simpsons episode do a better job at capturing Lisa’s fundamental desire for connection. This combination of absurdity and repetition felt like something wholly new, and would prove to be one of the show’s signatures (i.e., “Cape Feare”’s Sideshow Bob vs. Rakes). Bart and Nelson become unlikely best friends after Bart is the only kid who attends Nelson’s birthday party (complete with a fake Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus). Also, the characters didn’t necessarily feel settled yet. After Bart gets caught writing his name in wet cement, Marge scolds her son and tells him that he should show more respect for his town. But while almost seemingly every idea possible has come to Springfield, some concepts never saw the light of day, like the never-produced episode "Simptasia", an extended parody of Disney's Fantasia.. But to me, the show peaked with "Last Exit to Springfield." While Marge is busy taking over as “The Listen Lady” at church, overshadowing a depressed Reverend Lovejoy, Homer, Bart, and Lisa go on a mission to find out why Homer’s head is on a Japanese box. “The Saga of Carl” again shows that The Simpsons is willing to travel a long way to tell a small, personal story. Instead of Homer putting down his dessert so he could be appropriately starstruck by George Harrison, he eats an endless stream of brownies. You?” “Sure. Best episodes of The Simpsons If you’ve never seen an episode of The Simpsons , how was life living under a rock? Not only is that scene one of The Simpsons’ most notable moments, but the rest of “I Love Lisa”’s charming story line has also found its way into the hearts of fans. Herschel Krustofsky) wouldn’t take it seriously. “Guess Who’s Coming to Criticize Dinner?”, 69. The show’s a treasure trove of in-jokes, some of them impossible to appreciate without inside knowledge (all the posters advertising the “fictional” Simpsons show are actually posters advertising the real thing), others broad as can be (when Bart gets kicked off the show for attacking flight attendants, he’s replaced by Richie Rich). He gets a job at a fast-food restaurant, eats his way to obesity, and bemoans his fate every chance he gets. When Lisa’s regular teacher Miss Hoover is stricken with Lyme disease, her class is taken over by a substitute named Mr. Bergstrom (guest-star Dustin Hoffman), a gentle, funny, guitar-strumming, everybody’s-best-friend-and-mentor type. He’s smart, handsome, and understands the magic of Jim Carrey, so when he asks Lisa to marry him, she immediately replies yes. The series will follow a group of friends who meet at a support group to work through their issues around food. One of the most aggressively meta episodes of an already keenly self-aware sitcom, “The Itchy and Scratchie and Poochie Show” is as footnote-able as T.S. You\'ll receive the next newsletter in your inbox. One was plenty.”), “Any Given Sundance” may bear a resemblance to season six’s A Star Is Burns, but it focuses much more on Lisa’s vision and her negative perception of her parents and brother. The Simpsons' own series debuted on 17 December 1989 with the festive tale Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire. Fans spent the summer debating this question, trying to win the contest for guessing the correct person and logging on to the newly created Springfield.com (this episode is considered one of the first successful internet tie-ins by a TV show). This is a Simpsons episode that makes you laugh and cringe at the same time for the way it critiques Springfield’s lack of sensitivity even as it’s mining it for laughs. One of The Simpsons’ more assured dips into pure misery, “Kamp Krusty” finds Bart and Lisa in despair at conditions in the titular summer camp. Or, in the words of Lisa, “You’re experiencing spiritual emptiness because your power has isolated you from other human beings.” Homer tries to do some good in the world by opening a Stonecutters Daycare Center, among other life-affirming activities, but his brothers quickly grow tired of their leader’s newfound virtue, and everyone leaves to form the No Homers’ Club. What if we’re not real friends? It’s high school, and Marge gets sent to detention for the first time ever. Homer becomes a blackjack dealer, Marge a gambling addict, Bart opens his own casino, Lisa suffers from neglect, and Mr. Burns suffers from complete madness. It’s also about so much more, namely Homer and Bart’s relationship, and the bizarre lengths to which Homer will go to in order to teach a fatherly lesson. It’s midseason on TV, and there’s only one show that catches Homer’s eye: Police Cops, starring none other than … Homer Simpson. As an episode in Season 6, it’s understandable that it would be lost in the shuffle. Even Eddie is over James and Elizabeth’s nonsense at this point. Though this episode aired first, it wasn’t the first Simpsons episode, as it aired before the first season as a Christmas special, and it wasn’t the first episode produced. What begins as a fairly simple story about Homer buying a computer turns into an elaborate parody of The Prisoner that was understood by probably about 5 percent of Simpsons fans. What makes “Homer and Apu” a classic is the way in which it places a side character directly in the middle of the main quintet’s world while still using Homer as the catalyst for chaos. The Simpsons gets a bad rep, but 20th Century Studios have stuck with Homer and co. for a reason. A one-stop shop for all things video games. It’s also a terrific sendup of nearly every film festival in existence, as all the entries unwittingly reveal their creators’ mentalities, often in unflattering ways. Of course, in the end, we root for Marge and Homer to get their kids back, mainly because the Flanders overstep their bounds, trying to baptize the kids in a menacingly filmed sequence that would be offensive if the climactic gag — Homer recoiling from the baptism water like a vampire — didn’t suggest that in some sense, God is on the side of the righteous. “$pringfield (Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)”, 55. We’re in the middle of fall premiere season, when networks roll out a dozen or so new shows. When Krusty the Clown gripes that the tiredness of Itchy and Scratchy is sinking his ratings, the producers try to rejuvenate the bloody cartoon by adding a new character, Poochie, a surfing, rapping, to-the-extreme dog created via network meddling and focus-group sessions with kids who have no idea what they actually want. It’s an ingenious way of connecting the first act to the third, making “Mayored to the Mob” feel more conceptually complete than other “Homer gets a new job” episodes. In this case, he becomes a mall Santa. Quimby does, but Fat Tony is quickly freed, and he tries to kill the man who sent him away … at a dinner-theater production of Guys and Dolls starring Mark Hamill. Plus, the Brokeback Mountain kicker where Bart hugs his Nelson vest while Nelson shouts, “Haw haw, I touched your heart!” nails The Simpsons’ mix of bite and heart with one joke. Like many classic early episodes, this focuses ruthlessly on its A story and keeps a tight leash on its tone, which might’ve gone from brutally farcical to brutally unpleasant in an instant had a single gag been miscalculated. As a non-linear show, The Simpsons succeeds at creating a portrait of a marriage through a series of snapshots. Though a Scorsese thriller might seem like a strange basis for The Simpsons, it proves to be the perfect set up for some great jokes. During a surprise party celebrating Seymour Skinner’s run as principal of Springfield Elementary for 20 years, a mysterious guest crashes the festivities. The Simpsons have pumped out many a Christmas episode – but what is the best? Filmmaker Declan Desmond (voiced by Monty Python’s Eric Idle) checks in on Springfield residents every eight years to track their growth from youth (apparently everyone in Springfield went to school together) to adulthood. While viewers get a better insight into Apu’s life and commitment to his work, it is ultimately Homer who incites the adventures. Except it’s gone, having been stolen by a gang of no-good kids from Shelbyville. It’s the Gen-X, Lollapalooza world, filtered through the lens of the show. We're republishing it because The Simpsons is now streaming on Disney+. Not much has changed, though: Homer and Marge are still together; Maggie still isn’t talking; Bart’s still wrecking things, except now it’s his job; and Lisa’s still the smart one. A man in one of the towers shouts, “Hey, when you’re done with that, I got something up here you can bite on.” Then a man in the other tower shouts at the first guy, “Hey, why don’t you be polite, you stinking puss-bag?” and proceeds to give Homer helpful information, all while maintaining that combative New York accent. At the end of the 30 days, Homer plans to race to Moe’s until he realizes there’s something he loves even more than Larry, Barney, and that guy who calls him Bill: spending time with Marge. The list reflects the show’s continued greatness over 30 years, meaning it includes the first episode and also some of the more recent ones. Here's what you can't mi FXX paid a … Nothing gets by it. Eliot’s “The Waste Land.” It nearly renders criticism moot, since it pretty much analyzes itself — and the broadcast network system that produced it — as it goes along. The long-awaited live-action-movie version of Radioactive Man is scheduled to shoot in Springfield, starring Rainier Wolfcastle in the title role. The success of that verse leads the pair to the prestigious Wordloaf Literary Conference (a play on the Bread Loaf Conference) and results in a hilarious takedown of the literary world. Terry Cashman’s song “Talkin’ Softball,” which plays over the end credits (a reworked version of his 1981 song “Talkin’ Baseball”) is one of the show’s most iconic, if only because it famously lists all the tragedies that befall the ringers. In the end, this is one of the Simpsons' most entertaining and fun-filled episodes. Censors were taken aback by the frankness of the sex in the episode, but the producers thankfully fought back. One of the most remarkable things about The Simpsons is the number and quality of guest stars it’s been able to book over its quarter century on the air. Classic Episode. But here, at least, was a meaningful one. “Mr. With the public on his side, Bob decides to run for mayor of Springfield, despite being an ex-con who recently tried to murder a young boy. In this classic episode, the town is conned into buying a monorail from a shady traveling salesman. With The Simpsons kicking off its 30th (!!!) Long answer: a hurricane destroying his home, which his friends try to rebuild, only it’s about as sturdy as you’d expect a “house that love built” to be. The combination of Homer, Skinner, Apu, and Barney as the band is a perfect team and there's even a great cameo from George Harrison. On a seemingly innocuous nature walk to some local caverns, Homer stupidly touches a giant stalactite and opens a hole in the ground through which the family falls. “The Book Job” shows that even after two-plus decades, The Simpsons still has bite to it. 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Short answer: Homer. 7 Uniquely Cicely Tyson Stories From Her Memoir, Jimmy Fallon Cleans Steve Kornacki’s Filthy Office As a Thank You From Us All, Matt Rogers and Punam Patel Join Vanessa Bayer’s. He’s cool.” His buddy asks, “Are you being sarcastic, dude?” He responds, “I don’t even know anymore.” The ’90s! “Homer’s Barbershop Quartet” could have been a lazy parody of the world’s most famous band, but the writers were self-aware enough to sprinkle some welcome weirdness around the references. Both episodes deal with the alternative culture of the day, as a way of showing Homer facing the fact that he has aged out of relevance. A rare Simpsons installment with an explicit and unmistakable political agenda, “Lisa the Vegetarian” closed with Lisa still a vegetarian, and she remained steadfast in her belief throughout the run of the series to date. Voiced to perfection by Kelsey Grammer. The show bravely tackles depression, just six episodes into Season 1---which is why it makes our list, marginally pipping 'Round Springfield It’s easy to watch “Homer’s Phobia” now and think the stance the show takes is obvious, but it’s important to remember the time and the audience, many of whom were likely getting their first exposure to gay rights through the show. By setting it in the future, it allows for the episode to have a backwards-looking, deeply nostalgic tone, focusing on Bart and Lisa’s difficulty with parenthood as a way for them to look at their relationships with their own parents. We’re going to describe it here for those who have seen it to remember — if you haven’t, skip ahead and come back later. After Burns gets rid of the Power Plants' employee dental plan just as Lisa is in need of braces, Homer leads his fellow workers in a strike. Voice acting on The Simpsons is often taken for granted, but Dave Thomas’s performance as the humorless Banner is such a perfect homage to The Untouchables and Dragnet that’s it’s hard to imagine the episode succeeding without it. Here are the best Simpsons episodes of all time. This is one of the series’ flat-out funniest episodes, and as delightful as the broad bits are (the finale prompts the Don to tell Homer, “You’ve brought great-a joy to this old Italian stereotype!”), the subtle moments of body language and expression are even funnier. The episode is wall-to-wall great moments that we could watch again and again. Coming towards the end of season three (though it was written much earlier than that — it just took an especially long time to produce), it is arguably the most absurdist episode of the show’s first era (seasons 1–4, when all the original writers were still onboard). Krusty’s debt, by the way, is $48. (A key episode, it seems, as it would also kick off the Sideshow Bob story line that would result in our No. Even after its classic era, The Simpsons continued to produce plenty of memorable episodes. At its best, The Simpsons balances its heartfelt sentiments with uproarious disarray. Disney Is Finally Updating the Jungle Cruise Ride to Be 100 Percent Less Racist. In “The Shinning,” the family moves into Mr. Burns’s mansion while he’s away, but Mr. Burns’s decision to keep Homer focused by cutting off the cable TV and his beer supply sends him into a Jack Torrance-style insanity spiral (enabling co-star Dan Castellanata and the animators to give a tour-de-force performance as Homer channeling Jack Nicholson in hambone mode). N ever mind the Pixar movies. Piling incident upon incident and gag upon gag, this episode-length affirmation of Springfield’s gullibility will continue to be quoted whenever public works are discussed. Homer has yet another job, this time, as an adult-education teacher of a class that shares its name with the episode title. In “A Totally Fun Thing That Bart Will Never Do Again,” Bart sells everything he owns so the entire family can go on a cruise. He takes incorrect stances to such extremes that they reveal the absurdity of the position even in the most minor sense. “Home Sweet Homediddly-Dum-Doodily” has that perfect mix of sentiment and silliness that defines so many classic episodes. The lesson here is that it’s better to die in peace than to live in disharmony. On its surface, “The Saga of Carl” seems like just another episode where the show goes to a foreign locale and makes fun of the place. The mission is surprisingly thrilling even when played for laughs. Then Barney buys a bigger truck, and the two become rivals. Many episodes have explored the untold stories of Marge and Homer's earlier days from their youthful romance to the birth of their children. It’s the highbrow, medium-brow, lowbrow mixture that we look for in the best episodes. Homer grows sick of paying a ridiculous amount of money to see a movie only to be bombarded by 20 minutes of deceptive commercials and trailers before the film even begins, so he begins downloading them illegally online. And then I’ll never be able to let you go.”. “Homer the Great” is all about the man in the episode title and how he shows remarkable unselfishness by asking more of himself and others. The Simpsons is a generous show — allowing viewers the opportunity to empathize with so many characters. Sadly suggests, “ the Last Temptation of Homer putting down his dessert so he could be appropriately by... ” though in a match networks roll out a dozen or so new shows parenting agitates the situation,. Behind enemy lines '' war movies rare gummy under a rock simple work but... You only move Twice ” is one of those special episodes after two-plus decades, the cable network air. 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