It tells the story of Homer sending himself to an imaginary Lego-Springfield after Lisa opts to hang out with her friends instead of compete in a Lego contest with him. One French tutoring session, some deception, and a disastrous prom night later (on account of the memorable know-it-all Artie Ziff, voiced by Jon Lovitz), Homer ends up uttering one of the most romantic things he’s said on the show to date — “I got a problem. In classic Moe fashion, the main plot of “Moe Baby Blues” starts with a suicide attempt, where, before he can jump from a bridge, he catches Maggie (who had been flying through the air after a fender-bender). We’re in the middle of fall premiere season, when networks roll out a dozen or so new shows. It’s the highbrow, medium-brow, lowbrow mixture that we look for in the best episodes. It becomes increasingly apparent to Homer how frustrating and isolating the world is for intelligent people. 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. By the time we get to the finale, with Bart stalling for time by convincing the vain Bob to sing the complete score to Gilbert & Sullivan’s “H.M.S. 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. Except for that. They’d be allowed to go at their own pace.”) The omnipotent malevolence of Bond villains is played for laughs here: At one point, Scorpio asks Homer if he likes France or Italy better, then launches a missile at Homer’s second choice, France. “El Viaje Mistierioso” is the one in which homer eats a super chili “grown deep in the jungle by the inmates of a Guatemalan insane asylum.” But replace the chili with a bowl of peyote, or take a bowl of peyote yourself, and you’d get to the same place — a clever and gorgeously drawn episode in which Homer hallucinates a talking coyote (voiced by Johnny Cash) and a Marge with no face. Sure, you can go see Naked Lunch whenever you want, but you’re probably going to think there are at least two things wrong with that title. The late, great Phil Hartman guest-stars as Lyle Lanley, who convinces the citizenry to spend an unexpected windfall on a monorail. 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. The entire episode is a collection of short stories involving some of Springfield's most memorable characters as well as some of the background characters. And then, because he takes it to such an extreme, when he realizes the error of his ways, it is that much more compelling. It was always a well-liked episode. He observes a neighbor commit a terrible act. It’s simple work, but he likes it and he does it well. The sports-themed episodes of The Simpsons are always a highlight and this one is certainly the best. “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” is a much, much better episode of television than the next seven that aired, which were still grappling with the show’s tone and pacing. 10 I’m Goin’ To Praiseland (Season 12, Episode 19) 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. That reliability keeps “Duffless” grounded, despite an appearance from the Duff Blimp. So he tries to purchase his soul back from Milhouse, only to learn that he already traded it to Comic Book Guy, who informs Bart that someone already bought it from him. In a parody of Martin Scorsese's Cape Fear remake, Bob is released from prison and sets out to get his revenge on Bart. 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. 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). It’s one of the best jokes The Simpsons has done in its last decade. Luckily, the second half is pretty great, too. What happens when the kids of Springfield Elementary are trapped in the school with Principal Skinner and Groundskeeper Willie because of a devastating blizzard? 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. From that point on, the two form an adorable yet undeniable, weird (not that sort of weird) bond. 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. 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!”). For a show to end their season on a cliffhanger can be a pretty cheap move. 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. 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 most shocking thing about it (in a good way) is how funny the show can still be this late in the game. Krusty has subcontracted everything in this lakeside hellpit to bureaucratic underling Mr. Black, who, in turn, delegates to thuggish enforcers Jimbo, Dolph, and Kearney. 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. Ned Flanders is a perpetual winner in the world of The Simpsons. Lisa: “I feel like I’m gonna die, Bart.” Bart: “We’re all gonna die, Lise.” Lisa: “I meant soon.” Bart: “So did I.”. Gathering together to round up and bash snakes, it’s animal lover Lisa who initially protests against the actions, but surprisingly, it’s Bart who uses his wits to save the day. Some of The Simpsons’ best episodes have been about religion, with Homer interrogating his relationship with God and Lisa questioning her family’s ethics. Homer grows so desperate for a single sip of Duff that he admits in an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting that he “snuck into the football stadium and ate the dirt under the bleachers.”. The episode is not only a hilarious journey for Homer, but it features some truly great visuals. It also has Homer utter one of the show’s more nihilistic (and whiny) lines of dialogue — “I’m a lonely insignificant speck on a has-been planet orbited by a cold, indifferent sun.”. Then Bart gets injured (Nelson: “Ha-ha.” Milhouse: “Hey, Nelson, he’s really hurt. Watching Grimes go mad at Homer's success is strangely hilarious as the show really embraces its dark humor in a big way. 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. The series will follow a group of friends who meet at a support group to work through their issues around food. It is an ensemble episode housing some of your favorite lines. The totally misguided creation of Poochie feels like something we've seen happen in many real shows, and it makes for a fun episode to explore. Luckily, The Simpsons offers both and 30 seasons of the beloved show are available on Disney+ right now. She’s a college student at Eastern University, which is where she meets Hugh (Mandy Patinkin). In “The Haw-Hawed Couple,” which in itself is a pun on The Odd Couple, there are references to Goodfellas, Brokeback Mountain, and even an entire subplot devoted to a faux–Harry Potter book series. Finally, he is airlifted and safely placed inside an ambulance, only for the ambulance to instantly crash into a tree and for his gurney to roll out the back. It lies right in the show’s prime. 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. The attic story is actually a twin story: Apparently, the creature rattling around upstairs is Bart’s conjoined twin Hugo, an id creature à la The Dark Half who’s chained up for everyone’s protection and subsists on fish heads. Until a tiny Lisa walked by a music store; Homer prayed for a sign, and a clerk put a literal one right in the window: “Musical instruments: the way to encourage a gifted child.” In they go, and out they walk with one saxamaphone. The entire episode has an undercurrent of dread leavened by absurdity: When Lisa and Bart come home from school, respectively, shoeless (thanks to bullies) and wrapped in a burlap sack (his clothes burned to prevent the spread of lice), it’s funny but also horrifying because the kids are genuinely distressed. Ever. It’s this sort of balance of dark and light that makes for such a compelling episode. Stacker presents the best “Simpsons” episodes of all time. 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). The Simpsons have always loved to feature episodes in which they tell various stories within one episode.The Treehouse of Horror specials famously do this and in their 17th season, they attempted to recreate it with a Christmas episode. Tour our photo gallery of 'The Simpsons' episodes. Here's what you can't mi FXX paid a … “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. But, well, “I’m Mr. RELATED: The 12 Best Simpsons Guest Stars, Ranked. Like any show that's gone on for decades, though, it's understandable if someone fell off the show after a point. Here are the best Making Bart and Skinner friends seems like a pretty hacky concept for an episode, but it works because Skinner is just so kind and sincere (if still hilariously lame). It feels a little tame now, so advanced are the animation graphics of today, but there’s something wonderfully bizarre about the episode’s kicker, which involves erotic cakes. With The Simpsons kicking off its 30th (!!!) A common thread among all of the Simpsons origin stories is the untimeliness of Marge’s pregnancies. Earlier this month, the new streaming service Disney+ became the exclusive streaming home of The Simpsons, meaning that if you don’t want to buy or rent episodes, wait around for reruns, or dig up your old DVDs, it’s the only place to watch one of TV’s most important and long-running comedies. It hasn’t been a thing for a while. It’s psychedelic, but underneath it all is Homer’s fear that Marge might not be his soul mate following a misunderstanding. That name again is Mr. Plow.” It’s simple, vaguely palindromic, and catchy enough for children to carry with them all their lives. 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! However, "Homer's Barbershop Quartet" relives Homer's unexpected brush with fame with his old-timey musical group, The Bee Sharps. 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. 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. The Simpsons' own series debuted on 17 December 1989 with the festive tale Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire. The episode succeeds at both telling the story of Homer’s desire to still be cool and making fun of what was cool at that time. Picking up hitchhikers 5 Reasons it Should be Canceled ( & 5 Why it Should be Canceled ( 5... Roasting on an Open fire under the sun, but any cross-creative awkwardness dissipates once critic Jay Sherman ( Jon. Goes missing, Tamzarian takes on an issue of time that theorized what would happen if comet. 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