The Simpsons is a long running American animated sitcom, created by Matt Groening (creator of the Life in Hell comic strip, Futurama and disenchanted). Prior to airing on Fox, it was preceded by The Simpsons shorts, a series of animated segments featuring the titular family, which aired on The Tracey Ullman show from April 19th 1987 with ‘Good Night’ to ‘TV Simpsons’, the final segment which aired on May 14th 1989. After the Tracey Ullman segments, as mentioned above, The Simpsons moved on to Fox, with the first episode ‘Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire’ airing on December 17th 1989. Since then The Simpsons, a series about a dysfunctional yellow family, located in a nondescript American town called Springfield has continued to grow and develop, with thirty seasons and approximately 662 episodes. While there are arguments to be made that the quality has dipped in 30 years and there is also some truth to the fact that the golden era (usually considered the first 10 seasons, although occasionally broadened to the first 13 seasons) is far behind it, it still manages to provide entertainment, and has been secured for at least two more seasons as of February 6th 2019. Here are my Top 10 favourite episodes from its long history. Enjoy!
1. Homer at the Bat
This makes the list for numerous reasons, first and foremost because of the musical number at the end which I still sing on the regular. It also happens to be funny, jam packed full of baseballers and has a moment of triumph for the Simpsons clan.
2. Hurricane Neddy
Is in my opinion one of the best episodes of The Simpsons ever, it has perfect neighbour Ned snap after a few bad experiences and the well intentioned incompetence of the citizens of Springfield. It’s funny and gives us some insight into Ned Flanders.
3. Bart Sells His Soul
Has one my favourite scenes in animation history, where a street cleaner rolls over Bart’s bicycle and cackles as it falls apart. I think I like it because every single bit of the scene just works and comes together to make something hilarious. All in all the episode though it superb, funny, vaguely existential and a good personal growth episode for Bart.
4. Stark Raving Dad
Has an uncredited Michael Jackson, playing an overweight, white, mental patient who thinks he’s Michael Jackson. It also has Homer taken into a mental institution (about time huh!?) Because he had Bart fill in a psych test. Also the ‘Lisa it’s your Birthday’ song is still a strong favourite of mine.
5. Who shot Mr Burn part I & II
Is like the quintessential Episode of The Simpsons, or should that be episodes. Anyway this two parter has Mr Burns jump from regular villain to Supervillain as he blocks out the sun to force people to use more electricity. In return he is shot by someone in town and it’s down to the crack squad of Springfield Police Force to uncover who did it.
6. Homer’s Enemy
Features what life is like for the other 99% of people who aren’t Homer Simpson, it also passively shows just how easy he has it, no consequences, and it’s one of the few episodes to feature a real death, other famous examples including Maude Flanders and Marvin Monroe.
Who knew that the Dim-witted patriarch of The Simpsons clan was so, not because of repeated head trauma, radiation, alcohol, a recessive gene that attacks men in his family or lack of support from his father but instead all of his problems can be traced back to a crayon he shoved up his nose. Funny episode but also a strong bonding experience between Homer and Lisa.
8. The Computer wore Menace Shoes
Has the island, where people go when they know too much, it’s a strong, funny episode that has a lot of memorable episodes from the weird anti escape orb to Homer committing himself to lying for views while wearing his Pulitzer prize.
9. Last exit to Springfield
Has some awesome musical moments, I’ve had the line ‘Lisa Needs Braces…Dental Plan’ stuck in my head for about ten years now and it’s just an all around strong episode that I never tire of watching.
10. You Only Move Twice
This episode shows just how easily Homer can get along with a supervillain, and also how well he can do his job when he has some support. This is a strong fan favourite, a personal highlight of which being the hammock bit.
Honourable mentions go to Marge vs the Monorail, The Springfield Files, Behind the Laughter, Homer’s Barbershop Quartet and The Debarted which I also really enjoyed but didn’t quite make the top 10 list.
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