Ian's Movie Reviews
Short Reviews of Movies, Board Games, and Other Stuff

The Ten Best Simpsons Episodes

10. Summer of 4 Ft. 2

Usually I groan a little inside when I see a Lisa-centric episode come on, but the seventh season finale is definitely the best they have done with Lisa’s stories. As she explores who she is and the reason for her unpopularity, she makes friends at the lake and begins to realize that maybe its not about how you dress yourself up but more about how confidant you are in yourself. And even though it is Lisa’s story, Homer is also in top-notch comedic form, especially with his illegal fireworks.

9. Who Shot Mr. Burns? (part 1)

The Simpsons’ Take on the famous Dallas season ending cliffhanger saw Mr. Burns in the J.R. role with all of the town members as suspects in the shooting. This episode sets up a wonderful atmosphere of foreboding with many classic moments as each of the characters explores their dark sides. The first part of the only two-part episodes in Simpsons history left us guessing all summer, and even now that we know, the episode is still one of the best there is.

8. Homer Vs. The 18th Amendment

Homer as the beer baron, Rex Banner, Moe’s pet shop, this episode has tons of great gags. Homer fighting against prohibition provides some great entertainment, including one of The Simpsons’ most heavily quoted lines; “To Alcohol! The cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.”

7. Homer’s Barbershop Quartet

Ah, the B Sharps. This hilarious look into Homer’s past as a barbershop superstar is one of the best episodes the show has come up with for sure. Gearge Harrison has a great cameo, back when cameos actually meant something and flowed naturally with the story, unlike now when they are just there to showcase whatever celebrity needs attention at the moment.
This episode is full of great moments from beginning to end, and let’s face it; “Baby on Board” is catchy.

6. Homer at the Bat

Homer finally gains respect at the slugger on the power plant’s softball team, until Daryl Strawberry comes along. This episode really had it all; funny guest star cameos, great gags, movie parodies, and of course that incredibly catchy theme song during the end credits. This was one of the Simpsons’ best as it came into its prime.

5. Rosebud

The Simpsons’ take on Citizen Kane has Mr. Burns pining away for his long-lost teddy bear Bobo, which falls in the arms of Maggie Simpson. Now Homer must decide between rewards and riches and the happiness of his daughter. Rosebud is a great example of when the show’s storytelling and writing was the best in the business. And this one can tug at the heart-strings as well.

4. Cape Feare

Sideshow Bob episodes were like that special dessert when you were a kid that you were only allowed to have every once in a while but couldn’t wait until the next time. And Cape Feare was the best of the lot. Cape Feare was able to set up a ton of laughs in a great brooding atmosphere. And who could forget such gags as the “Hello Mr. Thompson” bit and Homer’s hockey mask and chain saw.

And the rakes. Ahhhhhh, the rakes.

3. Flaming Moe’s

What Flaming Moe’s does is it sets up a tone and atmosphere in the episode which is almost unique. Moe’s tavern has suddenly become the hip place to be, with Aerosmith playing almost every night and resembling the lifestyle of Cheers. A solid episode from beginning to end, one of the best the Simpsons has to offer.

2. Marge vs. The Monorail

Sometimes the Simpsons manages to reach heights of pure comedic genius, as the did with the story of how Springfield tried to rejuvenate their city with a monorail doomed for disaster. Everything that makes The Simpsons great is present in this episode, hilarious gags, great storytelling, guest stars (Nimoy and Hartman), satire, a comical musical number, and so on. One of the greatest 30 minutes television has to offer.

1. Last Exit to Springfield

When Homer leads a strike at the power plant in order to win a dental plan, he manages to fool Mr. Burns into believing he is one of the greatest minds he’s ever met. We, of course, no different. Even Matt Groening himself has acknowledged Last Exit to Springfield as the best Simpsons episode. It has been called “flawless” and “the funniest half-hour in TV history” and is even studied in sociology classes at Berkeley. This is the episode which proves just ho great The Simpsons truly is.

4 Responses to “The Ten Best Simpsons Episodes”

  1. Here’s MY Top 10. I have to admit that your published decisions for naming your 10 favourites are pretty sound, so where my choices differ from yours I’ll explain why.

    1. “Last Exit to Springfield” March 11, 1993. Season 4, Production Code 9F15.

    2. “Marge vs. the Monorail” January 14, 1993. Season 4, Production Code 9F10.

    3. “Kamp Krusty” (Because it was a few years ahead of its time; it did not become mainstream knowledge, to the best of my awareness, that any major corporations had grown even somewhat reliant on child labour until 1997, when I read that a clothing company was making virtual slaves out of kids in Thailand and China.) September 24, 1992. Season 4, Production Code 8F24.

    4. “Burns Verkaufen Der Kraftwerk” (This episode makes a lot of fun at the fickleness of the stock exchange, and we see Homer actually care about his employment, Mr. Burns get openly debased and ridiculed, and Carrot Cat Food that’s 88% ash, 12% carrots … oh, and Homer journeys through the Land of Chocolate.) December 5, 1991. Season 3, Production Code 8F09.

    5. “The Old Man and the Lisa” (Mr. Burns gets his castle, power plant and fortune sucked out from beneath him in another few stock jokes and asks Lisa to help him back up doing only good deeds; we’re treated to some dark candy indeed when he reveals that he is using a recycling plant to manufacture explosive insulation disguised as fish slurry.) April 20, 1997. Season 8, Production Code 4F17.

    6. “Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy” (Lisa doesn’t approve of the phrases uttered by a new edition of her favourite doll because they set insulting standards for little girls, and works to create a new toy to offset this, which flops; Grandpa Simpson tries to become a productive member of society again when Homer lets his feelings for him leak.) February 17, 1994. Season 6, Production Code 1F12.

    7. “Much Apu About Nothing” (When a bear gets into Springfield, taxes increase, which enrages Homer, whereupon illegal immigrants get the rap for the town’s problems, which the Simpsons endorse until Apu reveals that HE is an alien who never acquired US citizenship, which he does by the end of the episode with Homer and Lisa’s help.) May 5, 1996. Season 7, Production Code 3F20.

    8. “Lisa the Greek” (Marge asks Lisa to spend time with Homer, but they are both less than enthusiastic until Homer learns that National Football League game winners are always picked correctly by Lisa, a gift he mines Moe to depletion with; Lisa then learns that Homer only used her to get rich, but by the end of the Super Bowl, they happily reconcile.) January 23, 1992. Season 3, Production Code 8F12.

    9. “Cape Feare” October 7, 1993. Season 5, Production Code 9F22.

    10. “Lisa the Beauty Queen” (Homer enters Lisa in the Little Miss Springfield beauty pageant after she becomes disgusted with herself due to an unflattering caricature of her from the Springfield Elementary carnival; she is named victor by proxy only to get herself removed from the position when she won’t advertise sponsor Laramie Cigarettes.) October 15, 1992. Season 4, Production Code 9F02.

    • I’d say the ten best are

      (1) “Last Exit to Springfield”
      (2) “Marge vs. the Monorail”
      (3) “Lisa the Greek”
      (4) “Lisa the Beauty Queen”
      (5) “Cape Feare”
      (6) “Lisa’s Substitute”
      (7) “Burns Verkaufen Der Kraftwerk”
      (8) “Kamp Krusty”
      (9) “The Old Man and the Lisa”
      (10) “Lisa the Simpson”

      Sorry, but I don’t hold Lisa in the same contempt you seem to. I admit, I gravitate towards a TV character with more interest in being smart than being popular (also why I only watch “Family Guy” because of Brian).

  2. You two both seem to be Lisa fans.

  3. Furkan Güngör / Blog…

    […]The Ten Best Simpsons Episodes « Ianthecool's Movie Reviews[…]…

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