As much as it pains him to reject the offer, Homer has to, because he can see how much his daughter loves the stuffed animal. (“Gabbo! The episode’s ending is one of the series’ most poignant moments ever. While The Simpsons has always parodied pop culture, a degree of laziness has entered the process in recent years, as if reference alone to contemporary culture – minus any commentary – is worthy of our applause. Case in point: “Lisa on Ice,” an episode that starts with hyperbolic explosions on Kent Brockman’s “Action News” and ends with one of the show’s sweetest moments between Bart and Lisa. She’s a college student at Eastern University, which is where she meets Hugh (Mandy Patinkin). 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. Here, Burns gets his day. “Homer to the Max” is undoubtedly assisted by its meta humor (Homer has gone through various levels of intelligence since season one), but it also works as yet another funny episode about how ridiculous TV can be. You get old and realize that your whole life is essentially pointless and meaningless and insubstantial. Two-thirds of the way through the episode, Homer says, “Guys, do you think Carl was right? If it were, I’d kill everyone who looked at me cockeyed!”, Homer’s physical resemblance to Krusty (bald head, dumpling body) gets turned to the Simpsons’ advantage when he attends Krusty’s clown college and gets work as a Krusty impersonator (or “Krustacean”). First, it helps that the jokes were rooted in fleshed-out characters and real insecurities Homer and Marge have. To prove that there’s no such thing as a soul, Bart sells his for the low, low price of $5 — enough money to buy a disappointing pack of expandable water toys. “Home Sweet Homediddly-Dum-Doodily” has that perfect mix of sentiment and silliness that defines so many classic episodes. Marge wants to go on a nice, peaceful vacation with the family, but Bart and Lisa have other bird-sanctuary-less ideas. Few scenes throughout the history of television and movies capture NYC better than the one in which Homer tries to remove the boot on his car by chewing off one of the bolts. 3. It’s a rare instance of a TV-show character being proud of the extra pounds he’s put on. By ... "Moe, I haven't seen the place this crowded since the government cracked down on you … Homer struts around Springfield for the next week, taking advantage of his unearned fame, but in the next episode, Cool Homer is turned into Bumbling Sidekick Homer. There’s not a wasted line in “Homer Badman.” It’s one classic scene after another. A jealous side. Lisa’s battle with the sexist Malibu Stacy doll company may be permanently stalled when her rival doll is dropped in favor of a last-minute hat upgrade, but it still results in Lisa’s strongest feminist statement on the show yet. Indeed, the complex series of events, culminating in Martin delivering a wedgie upon himself, suggest the show’s writers could have lent Jack Bauer’s crew a hand with their plotting. Not only does Allison also know the answers to questions in class and play saxophone like Lisa, she was actually skipped ahead a grade and is better at the instrument. This one follows up on season one’s “Krusty Gets Busted,” in which Bart saves Krusty from prison by revealing that it was Sideshow Bob who actually robbed the Kwik-E-Mart. The most politically loaded episode of the entire series, “Sideshow Bob Roberts” is a masterful examination of how easy it is to convince a lazy, willing nation of, well, pretty much anything. Camp counselors Mick and Keith are captured as guys who are more interested in using cheaper oatmeal and putting up storm windows than letting it bleed. Moe is easily The Simpsons’ darkest character, so a lot of comedy and heart can be gotten out of him in the rare instances when something good happens. The episode begins with a trip to a candy convention, where Homer steals a rare gummy. It becomes increasingly apparent to Homer how frustrating and isolating the world is for intelligent people. “Eternal Moonshine of the Simpsons Mind” won the 2008 Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour), but it’s Outstanding Comedy Series-worthy. “Nobody ever says Italy,” Scorpio says. To quote something showrunner Mike Scully once said in an interview, “Guns in the hands of people like Homer Simpson are bad.” But an episode about it? 10 Barthood (Season 27) Movie parodies have been a go-to episode format on The Simpsons for years and one later seasons have tackled with mixed success (the less said about “Elementary School Musical” , the better). It hasn’t been a thing for a while. Rob Bricken. As much as this show makes fun of the sometimes small-mindedness of Springfield, it has created a town that feels alive, and viewers have become as loyal to it as its residents prove to be here. Even in 1993, it was tough to find a new angle on the Beatles. The attic tale has the creepy power of the earlier myths and novels that it draws on, while the miniaturization story is a Frankenstein variant about the moral and philosophical implications of playing God with manufactured creatures. He pays with a $50; the Don makes change. #4 Now everyone knows that an episode of the Simpsons is usually 22 minutes long. It’s a twist that works so well because of how “Strummer” treats the actual rock gods. “cloak n dagger” falls more comfortably into emo than hyperpop, though. Instead of Homer putting down his dessert so he could be appropriately starstruck by George Harrison, he eats an endless stream of brownies. Because it breaks from the preexisting timeline, few episodes of The Simpsons are as controversial among fans as “That ’90s Episode.” But as this list shows, very often the controversial episodes are great, as they are bold enough to mess with our expectations of the series. Lisa and Hugh travel to Springfield, where the wedding’s to be held, as happy as can be, but the similar-seeming couple quickly learns just how different they really are. Suffice it to say that anything outside of the classic period, I probably haven't seen it. The show wanted to create an event around its season-six cliff-hanger, and it did just that. That’s right: “Halloween of Horror,” not “Treehouse.” After 27 seasons, the show decided to do an actual Halloween episode. However, when Apu gets busted for selling expired meats — primarily to Homer — and is subsequently fired, he is suddenly thrust outside those confines. They’re obvious outsiders, but Marge wants to be on the inside, so she keeps tailoring her suit, afraid that she won’t be accepted if she wears her usual attire.You can’t help but sympathize with Marge’s desperation, even if the country club is a “hotbed of exclusionist snobs and status-seeking social climbers.” Ultimately, Marge unknowingly gets what she wants — Evelyn sponsors the Simpsons’ membership — but at a cost. After a series of unsuccessful robberies, Burns reroutes all the beer trucks heading to Springfield, which will remain “dry as a bone” until Homer gives up the bear. “$pringfield” is one of the earliest episodes to involve so many Springfield residents. Everything related to The Simpsons! This is a sentimental episode, but also a serious one, treating the conflict between generational sensibilities at least as seriously as the two versions of The Jazz Singer that it spoofs. It’s high school, and Marge gets sent to detention for the first time ever. 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. Also, the characters didn’t necessarily feel settled yet. With updated release dates where available. In honor of the show’s 500th episode, the Guardian conducted a reader poll to pick the top ten, all of which not surprisingly came from the program’s first decade (yes I too haven’t seen an episode in many years). 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. He takes incorrect stances to such extremes that they reveal the absurdity of the position even in the most minor sense. Equally inspired by 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould, Pulp Fiction (which it extensively references), and meandering, “whatever happens, happens” movies by the likes of Robert Altman and Richard Linklater, this is one of The Simpsons’ most structurally daring episodes: essentially a grab-bag of short stories or vignettes or TV-show parodies connected not by plot but by theme, and sometimes by filmmaking devices (the transitions are unusually clever). Bart gets expelled from school after driving a tractor into Superintendent Chalmers’s butt and is homeschooled by Marge, but becomes a bookworm after getting into a novel about a boy who goes to war. These are episodes you might not have seen if you tuned out after season 10, which you should keep an eye out for on your EPG during … Springfield Up offers yet another take on Homer and Marge’s history by putting it through the lens of a documentary called Springfield Up (which parodies the U.K.’s Up series), and it proves to be one of the more successful rewrites in recent seasons. He gets stuck on a roller coaster; she thinks she’s the Lizard Queen. It means nothing to Bart, but weird things begin to happen: Electronic doors won’t open, and he’s even unable to find Itchy & Scratchy funny anymore. Yet “Like Father Like Clown” showed early on that it could train its eye on other character histories and find humor, pathos, and universality. The jokes fly fast and freely, and it’s always a treat when Bart and Lisa work together, as they do here, exposing Bob, who wins the election, as a colossal fraud. This episode, in which Prohibition is reinstated in Springfield and Homer becomes a bootlegger known as the Beer Baron, pursued by an Elliot Ness-type crime fighter named Rex Banner, is one such episode. The show is never afraid to spin more contradicting details to its biography, and that’s half the fun of keeping up with the many seasons of The Simpsons. Lisa stumbling into an unfamiliar school and a French class who laugh at her and are then reprimanded by their Gallic-stereotype teacher who instructs them to laugh at her “en Francais”, which they do. Bart auditions for the role of the hero’s sidekick, Fallout Boy, but loses it to Milhouse, who’s an inch taller. (“Worst episode ever,” the Comic Book Guy repeats, undeterred.) Right. He then spends the rest of the episode trying to prevent Bart from becoming gay in the most hilariously inept ways. “Homer at the Bat” is a transition episode. Censors were taken aback by the frankness of the sex in the episode, but the producers thankfully fought back. “Gone Maggie Gone” is a classic example of this, where it’s still able to feel fresh and super funny, despite the reference text being a bit dated. “This punishment is not boring and pointless,” Bart writes on the chalkboard at the start of “Kamp Krusty,” foreshadowing miseries to come. This was demonstrated efficiently in “And Maggie Makes Three,” in a brief montage in which Homer rips out some of his hair upon finding out Marge was pregnant with Bart, and then more of it with Lisa, and then the last of it with Maggie. It’s proof that the extended Simpsons family can be as complex as the core group. Rather than being lustful or playful, there’s a nervousness and a discomfort about her. “That ’90s Episode” portrays what pop culture would’ve looked like without the show, with both cynicism and pretentiousness running rampant. The Simpsons has been on the air for over thirty years, churning out some of the most iconic pieces of American television comedy ever. Cherish your youth, “Bart on the Road” brilliantly suggests, because before too long, you’re working as a courier, hauling a cooler labeled “HUMAN EYES” through an airport in Hong Kong. As a 1960s scientist turned cooking-show host. It seemed reasonable at the time, as a large portion of the episode takes place at the World Trade Center. ... 10 Great Shows from 2020 You Probably Haven’t Seen Yet. But this episode is a prime example as to why these two are just as entertaining as Homer or Bart. Along the way, the episode serves up some of the series’ best cutaway gags (the Jimmy Hoffa–like fate of Homer’s predecessor; Lisa’s Yellow Submarine–style anesthesia fantasy; a montage showing what happens when Burns and Smithers replace the strikers with robots). We see the Lower East Side of Springfield, a young Krusty performing at a Catskills rabbi convention, and it’s all one big nod to The Jazz Singer. It’s a disaster. Went into outer space? One of the show’s enduring strengths is the depth and range of its characters, nowhere shown to greater effect than in this episode when Springfield rises up as one after Marge successfully campaigns to have sugar banned from the town. 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). and it’s revisited beautifully here when Moe – on the point of committing suicide – saves Maggie’s life and is transformed from social pariah to hero. The final moment returns to that sign, now surrounded by pictures of Maggie. He observes a neighbor commit a terrible act. The two bond when Lisa arranges Moe’s grimy, suicidal ramblings, or his “brain goo,” as he calls it, into a poem. 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. A look at his new gallery show of old-looking things. Springfield’s mob mentality is what makes the town so united yet so, so blind to strange traditions such as Whacking Day (which was inspired by a real annual event in a town in Texas). For Simpsons’ diehards, the title recalls a Lionel Hutz court case mentioned in series four and this episode could hold its own in that era. It’s the perfect encapsulation of each character’s true self: Homer is dopey, but ultimately very devoted; Marge is the voice of reason, but not a stick in the mud; Bart’s mischievous and naughty, but only because he’s looking for validation and companionship; Lisa feels a little underappreciated, but comes to see how much her parents really love her. Ned Flanders is a perpetual winner in the world of The Simpsons. He’s got a loving wife, two wonderful kids, and Bart; and no matter how many times he quits or just forgets to come in, he’s always got his job at the nuclear power-plant waiting for him. “The Principal and the Pauper” is the WORST. One of the most quotable Simpsons ever — a bold statement, admittedly — “Radioactive Man” stirs together an astounding number of The Simpsons’ ongoing obsessions, including jealousy between friends, comic-book mania, shifting pop-culture styles (apparently, the old Radioactive Man TV series is modeled on the 1960s Adam West Batman), and the way Hollywood warps innocence (Moe recalls his agonizing stint as a Little Rascal named “Smelly”). This Halloween trilogy features a monster in an attic, a political satire, and a riff on The Incredible Shrinking Man, Fantastic Voyage, and other adventures in miniaturization. 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). This is a pantheon episode for the show’s writers and its musical director, Alf Clausen. 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. It’s also about how being an adult isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Best. They’ve never even heard of it. “You? After moving to another town for a new job, Homer must decide whether or not to stay when the family have a hard time with the transfer. 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. Homer’s a lucky guy. The episode is absolutely packed with film references — Jurassic Park, Westworld, The Birds, Walt Disney — but it also has one of the series best ever punch lines: “No, my son is also named Bort!”. Second, the jokes are spot-on. "Brother from Another Series" - I adore Cecil and Bob's sophisticated banter here, and I haven't even seen a lot of Frazier. This is also the first Simpsons episode in regular run to compact its opening credits and cut straight to the couch gag (in this case, a repeat of the one from season two’s “Itchy and Scratchy and Marge,” in which the family enters the living room and finds the couch missing). 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. It’s a brief friendship, but any time we get to see Nelson’s sensitive side is a winning one. “Lisa’s First Word” isn’t so much a full-length episode as it is a giant collection of quotes. The episode also works as a meta-commentary on Simpsons fans themselves and their reluctance to accept change. “The Cartridge Family” doesn’t so much criticize owning a gun as it does condemn gun nuts; there’s a difference between the two. FIGHT!” upon finding out Bart and Lisa will square off in a match. Very few jokes hit in its unengaging tone. All the Celebrities Who Have Received the COVID-19 Vaccine, Artist Daniel Arsham Invites You to His ‘Signature Decay’. The A.V. You should hate Homer for basically making Grimey commit suicide, yet there’s something so innocent, so sweet, so dumb about him, you just can’t. Great spoof moments abound (Homer’s zero-gravity chip-munching ballet set to “The Blue Danube” is one of the best of The Simpsons’ Stanley Kubrick shout-outs), as do the kind of casually bizarre flourishes that the show does so well. “The Saga of Carl” again shows that The Simpsons is willing to travel a long way to tell a small, personal story. The episode is a testament to the show’s ability to pack a ton into 22 minutes — not just classic bits, which the episode has plenty of, like Homer’s Jack Nicholson quote onslaught, but the story itself. Best Disney Plus shows and movies to watch, A definitive Star Wars movies ranking, from best to worst, Everything you need to know about The Mandalorian, His Dark Materials series two lays the ground for all-out war, Thirteen best games of the console generation: from Tetris Effect to Breath Of The Wild. A Flowers for Algernon homage that is arguably better than its source material. “Homer’s Phobia” and “Much Apu Nothing” are maybe the most classic examples. Homer becomes a part of traveling music festival, Hullabalooza … as a guy who takes a cannonball to his stomach. Lanley enters the episode at a town meeting, duded up like Professor Harold Hill and leading the room in a call-and-response sing-along modeled on The Music Man’s “(Ya Got) Trouble” (“Were you sent here by the devil?” “No, good sir, I’m on the level!”). Anne Washburn’s 2013 experimental stage drama Mr. Burns envisioned a postapocalyptic world in which the plot of “Cape Feare” is handed down with reverence, as if it were Oedipus Rex or the story of Cain and Abel. This episode shows that it’s also the best TV show at figuring out how to use them. Already a subscriber? Plow, that’s my name. It’s psychedelic, but underneath it all is Homer’s fear that Marge might not be his soul mate following a misunderstanding. By focusing their defining characteristics — Lisa’s stern activism and Abe’s blundering old age — this episode builds story lines that force them to tackle these traits head-on. It was a surprisingly good mystery with a perfectly Simpsonian ending. It’s here in abundance as Homer attempts to win Bart’s love by disguising himself as Chief Knock-A-Homer in a Robot Wars-style contest. Her name is Rachel Cohen and she just got into Brandeis.”. 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. But even as the episode pours on horror-movie-style incidents — referencing Psycho and A Nightmare on Elm Street as well as Cape Fear, driving the family into witness protection in a houseboat on Terror Lake, and replaying the show’s opening credits as “The Thompsons” — it somehow makes room for multiple, marvelous sight-gags and exchanges in each scene. 10 Best The Simpsons Characters (Who Only Appear In One Episode) From fan favorite Hank Scorpio to Beatrice Simmons and Frank Grimes, some of these one-off The Simpsons characters are fan favorites! 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. Bart’s entry is just cruel hidden-camera footage of his dad trying to squeeze into too-small pants; Ned Flanders makes an amateurish film about Moses that sends one of his children careening down a river; Hans Moleman’s “Man Getting Hit in the Groin by Football” is self-explanatory. He falls well short of his goal, but Marge and Lisa chip in, and all of a sudden, the Simpsons are ON A BOAT. But, well, “I’m Mr. Short answer: Homer. The road-trip episode is a time-honored sitcom tradition, right up there with having two dates at the same time with two different women. There's too many of them! 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. What do you think was the best Simpson's episode of all time. Yes, you read that right: “The Simpsons.” If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard the aspect-ratio complaints yet, more than 660 episodes of America’s funniest dysfunctional family are available to binge for the first time. The heart, the satire, the absurdity, the one-liners: It all feels special in the way that the best episodes of The Simpsons feel like something beyond just a great episode of television. Though it starts with the simple concept of Homer playing on the power plant’s softball team, it descends (or ascends) into madness when Mr. Burns brings in nine professional baseball players to act as ringers. Joshua Bassett has voiced his support for his rumored girlfriend’s new song. Out as gay, confirming fans ’ suspicions ancient gem as a way of finding.. Saves Mark Hamill ’ s the kind of plot the Simpsons origin stories: how Ned to. Watch, we encounter her neuroses head-on you knew it would seem childish if we ’... 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