Every Simpsons episode ever, as reviewed by you

This is a review of every Simpsons episode for the first 25 seasons — that's 552 episodes in all! We've asked The Verge community to sign up to review up to four episodes of the show each during FXX's 12-day marathon. This is a work in progress — and because it's a community effort, we expect a few missing episodes here or there (we'll be going to back to fill in the gaps later). Click here for more information. Updated daily!

Season 1

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Episode 1

Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire

Henry T. Casey (@henrytcasey)

Having worked out its kinks on The Tracey Ullman Show, The Simpsons arrived fully realized in its solo debut. A perfectly cromulent episode to explain this seminal work to our future one-eyed alien overlords, "... Fire" features Homer's lies of omission, Bart's rebellions, and Lisa's precocious intelligence. The family's working class status is truly defined when Homer loses his Mall Santa earnings on a racetrack greyhound named Santa's Little Helper. After declaring that the dog is "a loser, he's pathetic," Homer's rage is broken when Santa's Little Helper licks his face, forcing him to admit: "He's a Simpson!"

Episode 2

Bart the Genius

Henry T. Casey (@henrytcasey)

The only scripted TV show that came before the modern internet and is still running today, The Simpsons opened its second episode with two proto-memes. Bart's chalkboard gag has made us laugh and helped us mourn, while the family couch has seen everything from The Flintstones To Minecraft.

Bart, having cheated his way into being classified a genius, is transferred to a school for the gifted (no, not Professor X's school). A great episode for Bart's pop culture moments, we get the first "Eat my Shorts," and Scrabble game-winner Kwyjibo.

Episode 4

There's No Disgrace Like Home

Eden Rohatensky (@edenthecat)

After attending the Nuclear Plants’ company picnic and realizing that his family appears quite dysfunctional in comparison to his colleagues’, Homer decides to sell uses the Simpsons’ menial college fund savings and sells the family’s television so that they can seek counselling from Dr. Marvin Monroe, a family counsellor advertised during boxing matches. Unable to make progress through traditional means, the Simpsons try aversion therapy — leading them to cause a power overload throughout the city of Springfield by shocking each other repeatedly. As guaranteed, when Dr. Monroe gives up on the family, the money they initially the Simpsons paid is returned in double, allowing them to purchase an upgraded television - seemingly reuniting the family.

The episode is an early introduction to the dysfunction within the Simpsons family, a theme that will prevail throughout the series, leading to stories much more charming than this one - but, at least you get to see Marge drunk.

Episode 5

Bart the General

Gavin King (@GavinKing13)

Beginning without a proper intro,"Bart the General" is about how Bart Simpson must face Nelson, the stereotypical school bully. With the help of an obsessed war fanatic, Bart is able to train the bullied (through a nostalgic 90s’ montage) to take Nelson down, ending with a "Happy Birthday" water balloon bombing. The quirky jokes and relatable problems help remind me of how good cartoons used to be, and that is why I praise this episode. "There are no good wars, with the following exceptions: the American Revolution, World War II, and the Star Wars Trilogy" (Bart Simpson).

Episode 6

Moaning Lisa

Gavin King (@GavinKing13)

"Moaning Lisa" is a very deep episode, emotionally deeper than any other cartoon would go. Following a small series of sad events, Lisa Simpson becomes depressed; she gives away her last cupcake, her band teacher tells her to follow the music, she is stolen from meeting a saxaphone-genius. Lisa eventually realizes that no one should tell you who to be, and that being someone you’re not will only please others. It is unfortunate that The Simpsons has lost this feel, sucumbing to the humor of shows like Family Guy and South Park (although I enjoy those). Overall, a touching episode.

Episode 7

The Call of the Simpsons

Cory Anotado (@pacdude)

The Call of the Simpsons is a product of its time: the first-season-sitcom trope of the family going on a camping trip and a parody of the myriad of Bigfoot specials FOX was airing at the time. Watching Homer try to finance an RV was hilarious, and watching Maggie raised by a pack of considerate (and intelligent) bears will always elicit awwws, but the rest of the episode felt like a list of what could go wrong on a camping trip, ticked off one by one. Homer as Bigfoot never really landed. Albert Brooks appears, somewhat anonymously, as Cowboy Bob.

Episode 8

The Telltale Head

Cory Anotado (@pacdude)

Bart, Jimbo, Kearney and Dolph stare at the sky and try to make out shapes in clouds. It's an apt metaphor for watching early Simpsons episodes. As the boys spot flaming school buses and a headless statue, so can one see the sparkles of genius that would come in later episodes. The majority of the episode is told in flashbacks: interesting. The entire town coming together as an angry mob over a desecrated statue: great way to set up how foolish and impulsive Springfield really is. As a story, it's harmless and enjoyable. As a harbinger of future episodes, it's exciting.

Episode 9

Life on the Fast Lane

Cory Anotado (@pacdude)

I dare say that Life on the Fast Lane is the season's best episode. (Not exactly a controversial view, considering it won an Emmy.) I enjoy that it's a Marge-centric episode, and that it reveals more of her personality. Albert Brooks, in his second guest appearance, is hilarious as a French bowling master-cum-casanova, improvising most of his lines in a masterful performance. It ends with Marge choosing Homer over Jacques, and a memorable Officer and a Gentleman parody that I remember seeing and not getting the reference as a child. Overall? Peak of the season.

Episode 10

Homer's Night Out

Cory Anotado (@pacdude)

Never forget: Homer Simpson is not a bad man. He is stupid, short-sighted, dense, and sometimes inconsiderate. But he is not a bad man. Homer's Night Out is one of those classic examples of this. Despite Homer's hedonism, he knows that the right thing to do is to smooth things over with his wife and set the best example for his kids. And at the end of the day, that's exactly what he does, in classic Homer manner. Even though the episode ends with a cheesy ending, it's a reminder that Homer will always be a good guy.

Episode 11

The Crêpes of Wrath

Rokorre (@rokorre)

A great episode that shows the charm of the first few seasons of the Simpsons.  The writing in this episode is amazing showing Homer care for a child that actually seems to respect him.  It's not one of the most memorable episode for a lot of people but it really does show the heart of the show. This episode really shows that the Simpsons writers can do when they take news stories or popular media and use it to push their plot along.

Alt. take from Joshua Burke (@jemcinema)

This episode had me laughing, and it was a great way to wake up. Funny jokes from cast like usual, it was a good episode.

Episode 12

Krusty Gets Busted

Rokorre (@rokorre)

SideShow Bob. That is all you need to know about this episode.  Here we get the first of a mostly annual side show bob treat when sideshow bob tries to take out someone from springfield.  We also see the beginning of bart and lisa working together to solve a problem in the town, and this is a trope that the show will cary with it all the way to current seasons.  This is one of the most important episodes in the first few seasons that still effects the current shows being produced.

Alt. take from Joshua Burke (@jemcinema)

Krusty being one of my favorite characters, I loved this episode because of him. The rest of the cast was good too, but Krusty really stood out in this episode.

Episode 13

Some Enchanted Evening

Bryce Seifert (@bryceseifert)

In the season one finale, Homer is treating Marge to an extravagant night out while Bart, Lisa, and Maggie are left in the hands of what turns out to be the infamous Babysitter Bandit. In its first season the show was still, like Maggie in this episode, learning to walk. Also like Maggie, they stumbled quite a bit. Plenty of throwaway gags just don't land, and the Homer and Marge plot feels superfluous and lazy compared to the hilarious, fast-paced antics between the kids and their babysitter-turned-robber. Homer says the Simpsons are a "quite misunderstood and underrated family." Although that may have been true at first, I’d say after they worked out this season’s kinks, they went on to do just fine.

Season 2

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Episode 14

Bart Gets an F

Karim Mourad (@ratmfoo)

Oh Bart Simpson, why do you not care?
You have failed yet another test
And now you must suffer a scare
You treat school in a manner of jest

If you fail once more you’ll be held back
Ask Nelson to tutor you to help you out
It’s time to study and get back on track
No matter how much you groan and pout

You’re going to have to go to school
Hey look! It’s a snow day; just as you prayed
But you still have to take that test, not cool
By some miracle you pass the test!
See what happens when you give things your best?

Episode 15

Simpson and Delilah

Ricky Marin (@cartidge101)

The episode starts out with Homer freaking out with a new hair product on TV. It's a "Miracle Breakthrough." Homer then goes to check it out at the doctors. He gets it by charging it to Mr. Burns' insurance for the nuclear plant by lying. It actually works, and he has a full set of hair. Homer then gets a haircut. Mr. Burns gives him a promotion, and he has to leave. Everything is going right for Homer as he has a better relationship with Marge, and Mr. Burns loves him. Smithers is jealous, and finds out about the fake insurance claim. Carl then covers for Homer, and gets fired. Homer loses his hair, due to Bart. Karl prepares a speech for Homer, but it fails due to Homer's lack of hair. Mr. Burns does not fire him, though, and demotes him to his old job.

Episode 16

Treehouse of Horror

Ricky Marin (@cartidge101)

It's Halloween night in Springfield, and Bart is giving a story. The family just moved in to a "cursed house" and strange things are happening in the house. They decide to "sleep on it". The house tells everyone that everyone is against each other, and they all get weapons. Marge stops it, and decides to leave with the kids. Everyone decides to talk to the house, and the house decides to destroy itself than live with the Simpsons. Aliens arrive, and abduct the family. They are greeted by aliens and eventually leave after playing games.

Episode 17

Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish

Clint (@clint_williams)

Chalkboard: "I will not Xerox my butt".

Harry Shearer had not quite perfected Mr. Burns voice yet - getting there but not yet. Animation was definitely unpolished. Character bodies are silly-putty looking compared to today's look.

After Bart catches a 3-eyed fish and the nuclear plant Homer works at is threatened with a shutdown - Mr. Burns decides to run for governor instead of fixing the plant. His campaign is immoral to Lisa & Marge. Burns' comeuppance occurs when Marge serves him said 3-eyed fish for dinner the eve before the election.

Episode 18

Dancing' Homer

Clint (@clint_williams)

Chalkboard: "I will not trade pants with others."

"I think I could actually hear the air being torn, sir" Smithers panders after Burns piffs the first pitch.

Homer, after getting drunk with Mr. Burns, becomes a minor-league baseball mascot. And gets called "up". The atmosphere and slightly darker writing and almost film noir framing sequence is most excellent. The pop-culture references are spot on. The riffing of Lou Gehrig's speech (right in the middle of all the ALS Challenges when this is airing in 2014) is almost chilling (pun intended).

But best of all — it has Dancin' freakin' Homer, man.

Episode 19

Dead Putting Society

Richard Stanford (@ristanford)

A sensitive Homer starts a war with his neighbor Ned Flanders. This forces the kids, Bart and Scott, to make a miniature golf tournament into something much more. Luckily for Bart, Lisa (doing her best Mr. Miyagi impersonation), is able to train him in the ways of zen to help him empty his mind from the pressure that Homer brings.

"Dead Putting Society" gives viewers a real introduction to the Flander/Simpson relationship. It also gives viewers the pop culture references that they have come to love from the Simpsons. All in all, "Dead Putting Society" is a great episode.

Episode 20

Bart vs. Thanksgiving

Richard Stanford (@ristanford)

After accidentally throwing Lisa’s centerpiece into the fireplace, Bart leaves home convinced that he has done nothing wrong and that he ruined Thanksgiving. His time on the street offers some potent social commentary on how poorly the homeless are treated mere seconds after receiving their holiday meal.

Once back home, Bart and Lisa are able to solidify their relationship. The scene on the roof helps clear up why they were having trouble in the first place. It’s an issue that anyone with a sibling can understand, they just don’t understand each other.

Episode 21

Bart the Daredevil

Michelle Buchman (@michelledeidre)

Truck-a-saurus! The family attend Lisa's music recital before dashing off to attend a one night only monster truck rally. They drive right into the show where the dino truck crushes their car. Bart dreams of becoming the next big thing after seeing superstar daredevil Lance Murdock leap over a tank of water filled with deadly sharks (and a lion?) The next day, he attempts to jump a car with his skateboard and ends up getting stitches. After recovering Bart sets his sights on a real challenge: Springfield Gorge. Homer meets him at the top and makes him promise not to jump, but ends up sliding down Bart's skateboard and falls down below. Instead of Bart, it's now Homer sitting in a hospital bed next to Lance Murdock. Hey, at least Bart kept his promise?

Episode 22

Itchy & Scratchy & Marge

Michelle Buchman (@michelledeidre)

Maggie attacks Homer with a mallet. Marge wonders what could have made her act out when she catches "The Itchy and Scratchy Show" on TV. She resolves that cartoons must be the reason for violent behavior. Marge writes a letter to the network only to be told to buzz off. Determined, she pickets outside the network. Marge appears on a talk show to debate execs and urges other parents to write in to the network. Under pressure, the cartoon is changed into a cheerful version of itself. Other parents urge Marge to protest against Michelangelo's 'David' coming to town. She refuses, calling it a masterpiece. Pro-cartoon folks call her out, and she admits it's wrong to censors one art form but not another. Marge visits the statue, lamenting the lack of others there when Homer reminds her the kids are being forced to see it on a field trip. Marge cheers up and seems hopeful for the future.

Episode 23

Bart Gets Hit by a Car

Richard Stanford (@ristanford)

Homer’s gullibility leads him into a shoddy deal with an injury chasing attorney. A story of he said she said, "Bart Get’s Hit By A Car" is blatant about the goals of the characters trying to get one over on the Simpsons. Of course, this is why it’s funny.

By the end, this episode takes one of the darkest routes I could possible imagine for a Simpsons episode. It’s played off well enough though. The second you see Homer contemplating grabbing his drink you know how everything is going to end.

Episode 24

One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish

Richard Stanford (@ristanford)

On a quest to try something new, the Simpsons go to a sushi restaurant. Homer being Homer, he falls in love with everything on the menu. That is when he decides it’s time to try Fugu. The inept apprentice is left to cut the dangerous fish while the chef busies himself with Edna Krabappel.

This episode is filled with a lot of fun moments such as Bart and Lisa singing the Shaft theme and Homer making amends with his father. It also touches on an important life topic. Knocking goals of your bucket list.

Episode 25

The Way We Was

Dmitry Terner

When the TV goes on the fritz we get our first ever Simpsons flashback. It's the story of Homer and Marge and may be one of the sweetest episodes the show has ever done. We learn that they got married because Marge got knocked up but that is a story for another day. We meet lovable high school loser Homer with a thick head of hair. We meet a smart and engaged Marge who falls for Homers simple charms and sees that a kind man is more important than a smart one. We all melt when Homer invites her to the prom and she says that she will wear her hair up.

Episode 26

Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment

Dmitry Terner

When Homer decides to steal cable all is great until Lisa gets a terrifying lesson on Hell in Sunday school. This episode is firmly in the oeuvre of Lisa being a giant stick in the mud. When everyone in town without a cable subscription gathers at the Simpsons to watch the big fight, Homer sees the toll it has taken on his family. Lisa losing respect for him, Bart charging the neighborhood kids to watch the adult channel and Marge concerned about both those developments. He joins them outside; "Dad we may have just saved your soul" says Lisa "At the worst possible time" replies Homer.

Episode 27

Principal Charming

Camilla Ice (@moviegalcamille)

Homer x Marge = Patty + Seymour - Selma

This feel-good episode is more cute than funny. Homer tries to hook up Selma with Principal Skinner, but Seymour falls for Patty instead. Highlights include Bart's prank call to Moe's (Homer Sexual), and Homer's Terminator "man vision."

Episode 28

Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?

Camilla Ice (@moviegalcamille)

(Homer's mom + Carny) / Grampa = Homer + Herb

Classic Grampa Simpson, classic Homer... classic episode. Homer reunites with his long-lost brother Herb and tries to support his failing car company. Highlights are a clip from a McBane movie, the reveal of The Homer, and Danny Devito guest starring as Herb.

Episode 29

Bart's Dog Gets an "F"

Brandon

In a remix of the first episode in season 2 "Bart Gets an F", this time around the topic of failure is Santa's Little Helper. My dog is basically Santa’s Little Helper Jr. so I have experience in this realm. SLH destroys Homers new sneakers and even the Bouvier family quilt! There are no words. Homer and Marge want to give him away for his misbehavior, but luckily he eventually passes obedience class…and subsequently bites Bart. This episode is a great reminder that although our pets may drive us insane from time to time, we could never imagine life without them.

Episode 30

Old Money

Brandon

Grampa catches the love bug after mixing up prescription meds with the beautiful Beatrice Simmons. Ready to go big on her birthday, Abe ends up missing it (stuck with the family at a safari overnight, surrounded by Zebra murdering lions) and Beatrice passes away. She leaves a large inheritance to him and he eventually decides to live the geriatric dream and increase the sum by gambling. Homer saves him from betting it all away and Grampa, looking to improve the lives of his friends, uses the cash to upgrade the Springfield retirement home. He also buys Napoleon’s (fake) fez hat.

Episode 31

Brush With Greatness

Greg Mooney (@extremeradical)

It's easy to look at the two plots in this episode and identify a theme: persistence. Marge and Homer both revisit their own lost causes. This wouldn't be interesting on it's own, but for the fact the main character is Marge, who has never enjoyed as much limelight as Homer, Bart, or Lisa.

This wasn't the best episode in season two, (in fact, it immediately precedes it) but it still has a several standout lines, and a great ending.

The whole "Will you take us to Mt. Splashmore?" bit.

"As God as my witness, I'll always be hungry again!"

And, of course, pretty much any line from Mr. Lombard, the overly complementary art teacher.

Episode 32

Lisa's Substitute

Greg Mooney (@extremeradical)

Watching this episode again took me back to a simpler time. When Simpsons episodes were about a blue collar family with relatable problems.

The stories themselves are about nerds. Bart's political rival, Martin Prince, and Lisa and her temporary mentor, father figure, and unrequited crush, Mr. Bergstrom.

Clearly, Homer and Bart deserve each other. They're able to spend quality time together in the B plot. In the A plot, Homer and Lisa drift apart.

The conclusion is so poignant, I think, because Homer figures that out. He won't be able to challenge Lisa intellectually. He's neither smart nor charming. But he apologizes as best he can, because nothing is more important to him than his family.

Episode 33

The War of The Simpsons

Dan Reid (@danreid)

This episode covered a lot of bases for so early in the series for me. Tackling marriage problems, the kids taking advantage of grandpa, and had so many stylistic garnishes on certain scenes ("So I said I must get out of these wet clothes and into a dry martini"). I also enjoy the classic touch of the penciled on beer stubble on Homer often utilized to present him as disheveled. This episode starts strong but falls downhill, but that's bound to happen after one of the best rant's in the series "Yoooooou stink! You and your whole lousy operation stinks!! I quit!"

Episode 34

Three Men and a Comic Book

Dan Reid (@danreid)

This episode was our first glimpse at 90s dance mogul Bartman (who most people today probably don't remember and thus he still pays full price). The Wonder Years bit in this ep always puts a smile on my face. As with the episode before so many great stylistic cues with Comic Book Guy's maniacal laugh to the boys wrestling by the light of thunder and lightning in the treehouse (they're fine). I can only hope grown up versions of the boys are pooling their cash together and are bidding on the perfect Action Comics #1.

A+ Episode

Episode 35

Blood Feud

Jonathan Johnson (@jonolafjohnson)

Bart saves Mr. Burns’s life thanks to his rare blood type. Stingy as always, Burns gives only a simple Thank You card, sending Homer into indignant rage. At its core this is an episode about synergetic relationships; both Homer and Burns rely upon morally stable characters (Marge and Smithers, respectively) to navigate important and difficult ethical decisions. The episode, however, never feels heavy-handed, and is rich with some top-drawer moments: Lisa’s attempts to decolonize Maggie’s education, an amazing Springfield Post Office mural, the first appearance of Will There Ever Be a Rainbow, and Homer’s bafflingly confused rendition of Androcles and the Lion. To top it off, Blood Feud ends with a classic bit of Simpsonian meta-fiction and moral untidiness:

Lisa: "Perhaps there is no moral to this story."

Homer: "Exactly! Just a bunch of stuff that happened!"

8 Xtapolapocetls out of 10

Season 3

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Episode 36

Stark Raving Dad

Jonathan Johnson (@jonolafjohnson)

Persecuted as a "free-thinking anarchist" by Burns after a laundry accident, Homer is admitted to a mental institution, where he bunks with a patient who may or may not be Michael Jackson. The episode was initially steeped in mystery: MJ’s performance was originally accredited to "Johnny Jay Smith." MJ’s performance is a good one, but the episode never relies too heavily on celebrity. Highlights include Bart’s hilariously disturbing fantasy of a lobotomized Homer, a jab at the then-popular "America’s Funniest Home Videos" ("Man breaking hip!"), Homer’s inability to grasp the realities of agoraphobia, and two actually-pretty-good original MJ tunes (which were performed by an MJ impersonator). The third act is a little undercooked, and the conclusion feels unsatisfying and tacked-on, but for the most part this episode stands up well to millennial scrutiny.

7 Insane stamps out of 10.

Episode 37

Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington

Benny Zheng

As the title suggest, this episode is primarily a satire on American politics and the political system. Needless to say, with a topic that’s smorgasbord of potential material, the writers went to town with this episode. Though according to Wikipedia, the logging industry had an issue with this one. As someone who is involved in the political scene, I thoroughly enjoyed this episode.

Best Line: "There’s been a problem at the essay contest! A little girl is losing faith in democracy!" "Oh No!"

Most unrealistic moment: When voting for the bill to expel the corrupt senator, the speaker says "maybe we should tack on a wage increase for ourselves", and all the other senators yell "NO"; yeah, that s* would never happen in real life

Episode 38

When Flanders Failed

Benny Zheng

The one where Ned Flanders opens a store specifically for left handed people. This episode really shows the complexity of the characters because even though Homer hates Ned, he still ends up helping Ned when Ned was in the dumps. To be honest I wasn’t really a big fan of this episode. Especially that song at the end. Too happy. Especially at 5am on Friday morning.

Best Line: "I don’t care if Ned Flanders is the nicest guy in the world, he’s a jerk!"

Most unrealistic moment: There’s like 20 left-handed people in Springfield. Most of us couldn’t name 3.

Episode 39

Bart the Murderer

Ryan Maffei

Season 3 is a structural leap, stronger plots more inventively presented (this one’s first act foreshadows the heyday’s where-is-this-all-going windups). But since the tightening precedes the evolution of the gag-saturated next years, the jokes neither jolt like in season 2 nor sweep you up in sustained wit like 7 and 8. Dry winners directly anticipate scene breaks or thudding resolutions. This mob-themer lacks the ‘Homie the Clown’’s gonzo ebullience (clears the Godfather groaners out of the way at least) yet offers a few bejeweled bullets: Bart singing "It’s Witchcraft", Neil Patrick Harris, and an incredible denouement, all blissful Swartzweldian randomness.

Episode 40

Homer Defined

Ryan Maffei

This episode, which tests the waters of emotionalizing Homer the "Project Bootsrap" power plant drone, is sharper and zippier, with never-fail Jon Lovitz, perfect-delivery Magic Johnson, and a slew of terrific moments ("call me Mr. Devereaux"; "this reporter promises to be more trusting and less vigilant in the future"; "I get enough admiration and respect at work, I don’t need any at home!"). Add to that some season-typical Burns & Smithers gold and a weaker subplot is justified, though stuff like the visual-gag debut of Milhouse’s mother makes one wish for the impact of seeing all this when it aired.

Episode 41

Like Father, Like Clown

Bob Timmermann (@bobtimmermann)

We all knew by this time that Krusty was a troubled man, but in this episode we were introduced to another cause of Krusty's pain: his estrangement with his father, Hyman, a rabbi voiced by Jackie Mason.

The show actually credited two rabbis as technical advisers, which no doubt helped with the authenticity of Bart and Lisa's attempts to reunite the Krustofskys. Although one is left wondering if the rabbis found the key Sammy Davis, Jr. quote that softened the heart of his father. Because the Talmud certainly didn't work.

Episode 42

Treehouse of Horror II

Bob Timmermann (@bobtimmermann)

The first Treehouse of Horror was a classic, but the second one was a lesser effort. All of the stories are supposed to be scary dreams caused by excessive Halloween candy consumption. But, all of them lack signature lines and scenes, which may be the scariest thing of all.

There is a monkey's paw that grants wishes but only with grave misfortune, a parody of the "It's a Good Life" from the "Twilight Zone" with a few yuks, and finally the best part of the episode, watching Mr. Burns with Homer's brain on his head pretending to be Davy Crockett.

Episode 43

Lisa's Pony

Pedram Mobedi (@gxhxoxsxtxfxm)

Homer's hilarious naivete can occasionally be misleading. But Lisa, being Springfield's most normal citizen evokes an emotional side of Homer when she puts him in a moral dilemma. She asks for a saxophone reed. But upon Homer's failure to fulfill her affordable request, he has to choose between working a second job at Apu's or tolerate the burden of a disappointed Lisa. He opts for the former. This is another fine display of family values and an early example of fast-paced humor that only Al Jean and Mike Reiss could have written for a 1991 animated sitcom.

Episode 44

Saturdays of Thunder

Pedram Mobedi (@gxhxoxsxtxfxm)

A soapbox race becomes another daunting challenge for Homer. To make Bart happy, he should find a craftsmanship that is not surprisingly absent in his nature and will, halfway through the episode, lead to their embarrassment. But such an adventurous comeback from failure to success costs a densely written script that can eventually distract the viewer from the shore the story is supposed to reach. This is an amalgam of motivation, despair, fatherhood and victory lust that can be digested with typical expected Simpsons wit outsmarting us using a roller coaster ride of events that could have easily derailed us otherwise.

Episode 46

Burns Verkaufen Der Kraftwerk

James Park

The episode opens with a wistful Mr. Burns reminiscing of childhood ("I dreamed of grand slam home runs and wiping out nations with the stroke of a pen...") and later selling the power plant. As the new German owners fire Homer in true German fashion (in alphabetical order!), Burns's futile search for fulfillment without the plant leads to an epic confrontation between a desperate to buy Burns and the desperate to sell Germans.

Classic bits include The Land of Chocolate and Evil Beekeeper Burns (the queen is named Smithers!). And lest we forget: Germans are not all smiles und sunshine.

Episode 47

I Married Marge

Bryce Seifert (@bryceseifert)

A pregnancy scare sends Homer on a Supertramp fueled flashback detour to the story of wooing Marge. In an oddly sentimental outing, this Simpsons plays ping pong between sappy and comedy, with almost every "aww" moment immediately punctuated with a punchline from Homer. Its flashback nature also yields the classic scene where Homer ruins the twist of Empire Strikes Back while leaving the theater. It has all the pieces of a great episode, even if they are unwound at a pace that’s a tad slow. But hey, I won’t be too critical. Like Homer says in this episode: "don’t you ever, ever talk that way about television."

Episode 48

Radio Bart

Bryce Seifert (@bryceseifert)

Starting with a broken-on-the-spot promise made by Bart to not pull any pranks with the new AM radio microphone gifted to him by Homer, this episode follows his hijinks as they escalate in both deviousness and hilarity. Eventually, Springfield is trying to save a ‘boy trapped in a well’ (voiced by Bart via his radio) while Sting and Krusty record a version of "We Are The World" about sending love down a well. The resulting chaos delivers a near-perfect satire of news media, how we cope with tragedy, and Sting. Its swift, joke to joke precision is the way you would expect a classic Simpsons to flow, and it makes for an endlessly enjoyable watch.

Episode 49

Lisa the Greek

Cindy Claussen

This Lisa-centric episode sees Lisa trying to connect with Homer by watching football with him and she has a knack for picking the winning team. Homer places bets on Lisa’s picks and has a winning streak. Lisa has a terrible dream about what her future would be like if she kept on gambling. Lisa realizes Homer’s affection for her is dependent on providing the winning picks. She denounces gambling, and asks him not to bet on the Superbowl. Homer realizes that he needs to spend time with her outside of football. They go on a hike together the following Sunday.

Episode 50

Homer Alone

Cindy Claussen

Chalkboard: I will not spank others.

Marge is feeling under appreciated and overworked. She takes a spa vacation away by herself at Rancho Relaxo. Homer is inept caring for Maggie alone. Bart and Lisa go to spend time with Patty and Selma. The family is so thankful to have Marge back after the vacation, but Marge reminds them to be more appreciative of her in the future. You get the sense that Marge missed the family a lot, despite their needy behavior and they will soon forget the lesson they learned from Marge’s absence.

Episode 51

Bart the Lover

Advait Panchal (@LifeDigita)

I tend to think as time moves on a show starts degrading, but that can not be said about 'The Simpsons' rather than being a straightforward comedy series the show is filled with the kind of humor which basically coincides with our real world experiences. I won't say that like how in this episode Bart faked writing love letters to his Teacher is what people do in the real world but c'mon Tinder.

The funniest part of the series was something to do with flanders, well keeping spoilers to minimum I would say that it was funny as it should be.

Episode 52

Homer at the Bat

Advait Panchal (@LifeDigita)

Sarcasm is one of the key types of humor you would find in The Simpsons and this episode just has a bunch of awesome jokes. Keeping spoilers to minimum I think this was one of the best Baseball themed Simpsons episode ever featuring many Major League Baseball players.

Basically Springfield Nuclear Power Plant sign up for some sort of a league where various power plant teams battle against each other but its about Homer here, so there must be some weird, right? Absolutely! he has this bat which he calls as the wonderbat and how the story unfolds is hilarious. BTW the ending is just awesome!

Episode 53

Separate Vocations

Andrew Deniszczyc (@adeniszczyc)

After taking career aptitude tests, Lisa's dreams of becoming a jazz musician are shattered, while Bart is destined to be police officer. After riding with the police, featuring car chases, gun shootouts, and Apu getting tied up in "nylon rope...[which] feels so smooth against [his] skin", Bart decides to get a taste of the authority as a hall monitor. With crushed dreams, Lisa turns to rebellion, (nearly) smoking, telling the teacher to "shove it" and even hiding the "Teacher's Editions. The unexpected reversal of morals between Bart and Lisa, with constant underlying humour, make this fine episode.

Episode 54

Dog of Death

Andrew Deniszczyc (@adeniszczyc)

In a tough decision, the Simpsons must decide whether they can pay for an operation to save Santa's Little Helper. After failing to win the lottery, the Simpsons agree to lifestyle sacrifices, saving the dog. These changes soon result in bitterness in the family, causing the dog to run away. This leads him to Mr Burns who trains him to become an attack dog, through the Ludovico technique from Clockwork Orange. At times, an emotional episode with scenes of conflict between father and son as well as the underlying theme that keeping a family pet is worth any price.

Episode 55

Colonel Homer

Andrew Janke (@AndrewJanke)

Aww. The simple hand-drawn cel animation in this feels charming and comfortable, like a childhood home.

A musical episode! Three original songs, cute and well sung. And twenty solid minutes of little jokes and sight gags, the pace was rolling along but not breakneck.

Nice to see some of what makes Marge and Homer work as a couple and how Homer feels about that. A really good episode. Every minute had something funny or human in it.

Episode 56

Black Widower

Andrew Janke (@AndrewJanke)

Well, that was... okay. Kind of a letdown after last episode's dense concentration of high quality jokes. This one wasn't very funny; the few gags were more allusion than humor.

This one didn't really land for me. Maybe it's because as an adult, Sideshow Bob seems like such a two-dimensional character to me, compared to the rest of the Simpsons cast, and especially the other villain types like Mr. Burns.

Episode 57

The Otto Show

Bryce Seifert (@bryceseifert)

Otto is suspended after he crashes the school bus, which he reveals he doesn’t actually have the license to drive. This stems from the funniest moment in this episode, where Bart encourages Otto to play guitar, and he rocks Free Bird for a stopped bus full of school children while traffic builds behind them. The amount of characters on the show besides the actual family is unfathomable, and it is always interesting to put the weight of an episode on a more minor character. Otto proves to be a great platform to do this, and his care-free attitude paired with both characters like him (Bart, Homer) and authority figures (Marge, Principal Skinner) lead to a great episode.

Episode 59

Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?

Eden Rohatensky (@edenthecat)

The introduction and the build to the main plot line of the story is somewhat confusing and disjointed and had me questioning what exactly was happening. Yet, the story of how Homer and his half-brother Herb (excellently voiced by Danny DeVito) are reunited indirectly by Homer's radiation-caused sterility and Mr. Burns' insatiable desire to protect his wealth leads to a rather heart-warming tale.

There was noticeably a lack of memorable jokes or gags, but there was a scene where Moe's regulars are drunkenly gambling on a race between Marge's recently retired washer and dryer, which had me in a small fit of giggles.

Episode 58

Bart's Friend Falls in Love

Eden Rohatensky (@edenthecat)

After a Magic 8-ball predicts that their friendship will end, Bart and Milhouse are faced with the ever-so-real killer of hanging out: romance. Milhouse meets Samantha Stank, a new transfer student at their school, and the two of them instantly fall in love. Bart, resentful and bored once Milhouse is occupied by kissing Samantha — tattles to Samantha’s father, resulting in her being sent off to an all-girls school. Milhouse is heartbroken.

Homer, speaking in near-gibberish after expanding his vocabulary subliminally in an attempt to lose weight, can provide no advice to a guilt-ridden Bart. Taking Lisa’s advice instead, Bar confesses to Milhouse and apologizes to Samantha.

Milhouse goes to visit Samantha, who does not want to leave her new school, but kisses him though it violates the school policy. Way to go, Milhouse!

Season 4

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Episode 60

Kamp Krusty

Eden Rohatensky (@edenthecat)

After much anticipation, Bart and Lisa are sent to Kamp Krusty only to realize that it's completely dilapidated and that Krusty is unlikely to make an appearance. Meanwhile, charmingly, Homer and Marge are able to seemingly grow some sort of a semblance of a stable and healthy relationship.

"I've been to Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq, and I can say without hyperbole that this is a million times worse than all of them put together" announces Kent Brockman.

Starved, thirsty, and with a broken spirit, Bart begins a rebellion within the camp - leading Krusty to come try to smooth things over by taking the children at the camp to Tijuana.

Sometimes I wish I had the Simpsons' childhood.

Episode 61

A Streetcar Named Marge

Chase D. Troutner (@Captain_Strongo)

"A Streetcar Named Marge" didn’t feature a lot of laugh-out-loud gags, but showcased the subtle humor that characterized the shows early years (for example, the numerous Ayn Rand references in an episode centered around a Tennessee Williams play). However, the episode does feature a genuinely touching moment as Homer realizes he has more in common with the play’s Stanley than he’d like, and ends with a heart-felt apology. Moments like that separate The Simpsons from other sitcoms.

Favorite Moment: Maggie’s The Great Escape homage (complete with Elmer Bernstein score!) to breach the pacifier storage locker.

Episode 62

Homer the Heretic

Chase D. Troutner (@Captain_Strongo)

"Homer the Heretic" is bookended by Homer skipping church on two separate Sundays, with two very different outcomes. In the end, Homer comes to value his faith. It’s a story we’d be unlikely to see in modern American sitcoms, where religion is rarely mentioned, except as the butt of a joke. To top it off, the episode is very funny, with such famous moments as Homer’s "Out of This World Moon Waffles" (I may try my hand at those).

Favorite Moment: Flanders’ attempt to rescue Homer by tossing him through the window onto a mattress. It… doesn’t go as expected.

Episode 63

Lisa the Beauty Queen

Karim Mourad (@ratmfoo)

Haiku:
Lisa does not win
Lightning strikes contest winner
Homer has big heart

Episode 64

Treehouse of Horror III

Karim Mourad (@ratmfoo)

The Simpsons gather in the living room to tell scary tales
Grampa wetting his pants never fails
Homer buys a Krusty doll to Bart’s delight
Little does Homer know that he’s in for a fright
The Krusty doll is evil and tries to kill
King Homer is a giant ape on the loose
Mr. Burns and Smithers make a truce
King Homer eats a lot of people
Bart discovers a magic book and tries to revive Snowball the cat
He raises the dead and Barney chews on some zombie fat
Bart finds the right book to fix his error
Treehouse of Horror III, what a terror

Episode 65

Itchy and Scratchy: The Movie

Karim Mourad (@ratmfoo)

Bart! Why are you such a bad kid?
You’re driving Homer and Marge mad
You wouldn’t believe the terrible things Bart did
Marge seriously worries this isn’t a fad
Homer tries to lay down the law
But he doesn’t care
Bart cuts right through his act like a saw
Until Bart does something not fair
Thus, he is barred from watching the new Itchy and Scratchy film

Episode 66

Marge Gets a Job

Karim Mourad (@ratmfoo)

Haiku:
The Simpsons’ house breaks
So Marge works at Mr. Burns’ plant
Mr. Burns falls in love

Episode 67

New Kid on the Block

Scott Jenkins (@sej326)

The episode begins with a parody of '90s dating show "Studs," setting things up for the main storyline in which Bart falls for new neighbor Laura. After finding out that she has fallen for bully Jimbo, Bart intends to end that.

The more entertaining storyline is Homer being kicked out of ``all-you-can-eat" seafood restaurant The Frying Dutchman before he has had his fill. That leads him to hire the great Lionel Hutz to sue the restaurant for false advertising.

A classic boy-meets-girl story, the episode is fine for what it is, but the love stories are never among my favorites.

Episode 68

Mr. Plow

Scott Jenkins (@sej326)

This classic episode features Homer buying a plow at an auto show after smashing his car when driving home from Moe's in a snowstorm. To help pay for the cost, he starts a plowing business, Mr. Plow, which is successful until Barney starts his own company, Plow King, and steals most of Homer's customers, causing a competition between the two. Trying to beat Barney, Homer convinces him to plow a mountain, where he gets covered in an avalanche.

Other than guest spots by Linda Ronstadt and Adam West, this episode features a realistic story, which is the show at its best.

Episode 69

Lisa's First Word

Melinda Greene (@mowinda)

Marge worries about Maggie’s language development and reveals the story of Lisa’s first word. We see the young Simpsons living tenement style on the lower east side of Springfield with toddler Bart, who spends his days getting into mischief set to the tune of "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." Lisa is born and Bart steadfastly tries to murder her until she says her first word: "Bart." There are so many good things about this episode, a few of which are the phrase "Can’t sleep, clown will eat me" and a rogue Grandma Flanders appearance. Oh, and Maggie’s first word? Daddy.

Episode 70

Homer's Triple Bypass

Melinda Greene (@mowinda)

While stuck in traffic Homer’s heart begins to beat irregularly and he is told he needs an immediate expensive heart surgery. Having given up his insurance for a pinball machine at work Homer has the operation done by everyone’s favorite incompetent physician, Dr. Nick ("The coroner? I am so sick of that guy."). With Lisa’s assistance in the operating theater Homer pulls through. Highlights of this episode are Dr. Nick’s surgery tape cutting to an episode of "People Who Look Like Things" and our old friend Mr. McGreg, with a leg for an arm and an arm for a leg!

Episode 71

Marge vs The Monorail

Brett Glisson (@brettglisson)

- This is one of the best half-hours of the Simpsons ever.
- The Music Man parody beats out the Flinstones parody. But only by a hair. The fact that they could fit both of them in the same episode and make it work should make Seth MacFarlane ashamed.
- Anyone can make fun of Star Trek. Only the Simpsons would make fun of Nimoy's "In Search Of..." as well.
- Episodes like this make me really, really miss Phil Hartman.
- Homer's best line: "I call the big one Bitey."

Episode 72

Selma's Choice

Brett Glisson (@brettglisson)

- Not this season's strongest episode by far. But considering it's competition, it's not saying much. Still great, just off pace a bit.
- Despite the fact that he's a terrible father and a moron, Homer is a fantastic role model for how to keep a healthy relationship with your spouse: lots and lots of sexytimes.
- Lisa's vision of Selma after drinking the water in the "Small World" knockoff is straight out of a Ralph Bakshi fever dream. Yikes.
- This is about smack-dab the middle of the really, really great episodes.
- Homer's best line: "Suggestion Noted."

Episode 73

Brother From The Same Planet

Jay Pfeifer (@JayPfeifer_NI)

This is a true classic. It’s non-stop funny with absolutely absurd joke pacing. The Lisa / 900-number B plot suffers by comparison to the main storyline. Although probably nothing can stand up to the relationship between Pepsi and Papa Homer.

But can we talk about that dissolve from the bathtub to the soccer net? Homer's face melting on the way home? Considering how static the Season 1 episodes looked yesterday, this episode shows how far "The Simpsons" had evolved and how it would make the most of the possibilities animation offers. Amazing.

Episode 74

I Love Lisa

Jay Pfeifer (@JayPfeifer_NI)

Exceptionally sweet. This is a straight-forward "Lisa" episode in which Ralph Wiggum becomes more than just the kid whose cat’s breath smells like cat food. The show dies a little bit after Ralph’s heart is broken at Krusty’s 29th anniversary show – which, until I rewatched it, I could have sworn came at the end of the episode instead of the halfway point. This episode has to include the most charming use of "Monster Mash." And thanks to this episode, I have called the trunk of my car the "tunk" for the past 20-odd years.

Episode 75

Duffless

Patrick Fisher (@pwkfisher)

After an afternoon of ditching out on work to visit the Duff brewery, Homer gets arrested for driving while drunk, which leads Marge to convince Homer to go sober for thirty days. In the end, it leads to a nice moment between Marge and Homer where he delays his return to alcohol to spend some time together.

The secondary story of Lisa treating Bart like a hamster is hilarious. Watching Bart never learn about getting shocked never gets old - just like Sideshow Bob and the rakes.

Favourite Quote: "Here’s an appealing fellow! In fact, they’re a-PEEL-ing him off the sidewalk right now!" "Haha...it’s funny because I don’t know him"

Episode 76

Last Exit to Springfield

Patrick Fisher (@pwkfisher)

Come gather ‘round childen it’s high time ye learns
About a hero named Homer and a devil named Burns.
The dental plan lost for girls and the fellas
So they all went on strike; lest they fold like umbrellas.

Favourite Quote: "So I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt. Which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on 'em. Gimme five bees for a quarter, you'd say. Now where was I…"

Episode 79

Whacking Day

Scott Dwyer (@AlmondJoyJingle)

"Whacking Day", produced by Simpsons titans Conan O’Brien and George Meyer, and containing jokes built on "monsterism", "evil homer", and perhaps television’s funniest Johnny Tremain reference, is a Simpsons episode whose pointed greatness is exceeded only by the length and complexity of this amateurish sentence. The central conceit of the narrative is a scathing critique of institution, be it government, education, group think, or…sexuality as it pertains to cross dressing burlesque shows for Hitler? One is left to ponder the metaphorical significance of man’s ritual murder of snakes, but is quickly reminded that…hey! Where’s my mountain bike?

Episode 80

Marge in Chains

Scott Dwyer (@AlmondJoyJingle)

"Marge in Chains" is either a fairly mild takedown of Mrs. Lovejoy’s gossiping or an excuse to feature Lionel Hutz (or "the law talking guy" as he puts it) in as many scenes as possible. While defending Marge after she steals Kwik-E-Mart brand bourbon, the Simpsons' go-to lawyer confesses to having repeatedly run over the judge’s son, entering the courtroom with no pants, and offering the Simpsons a "smoking monkey" (I have no idea what or WHY this is, but I still want one). The episode doesn't have the same teeth other gems in the '93 season had, but the jokes are there. Plus, it features a statue of Jimmy Carter with Marge's hair. So we've got that going for us.

Episode 81

Krusty Gets Kancelled

Mark Anderson (@EverytimeImark)

GABBO! GABBO! GABBO!

The season 4 finale has Krusty the Klown reeling as his show is cancelled and replaced with ventriloquism act, "Gabbo". Krusty fights to get back on air with a comeback special featuring multiple celebrity appearances.

Highlights were "Eastern Europe's favorite cat and mouse team" Worker and Parasite, and Bette Midler's one-liner: "Time to take out the trash." ("We'll get you Midleerrrrrrrr....")

The episode also gets a little meta with Krusty making jabs at both Fox and the Emmy Awards, something I always found funny in both The Simpsons and Futurama.

Overall, a great way to end season 4 with one of Krusty's best episodes.

Season 5

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Episode 82

Homer's Barbershop Quartet

Mark Anderson (@EverytimeImark)

The season 5 premiere has Homer telling the tale of his old barbershop quartet, "The Be Sharps" and their number-one hit "Baby On Board."

Personally, this episode is one of my favorites because I've always loved barbershop quartets. Plus I'll admit, any episode with a musical number ranks highly in my book, and this one is no exception.

This episode was also the second time a member of The Beatles was featured, with George Harrison making a cameo appearance.

A great opener to Season 5 and an all-around classic episode, Homer's Barbershop Quartet was more than a one-hit wonder.

Episode 83

Cape Feare

Michael Lipkin (@mlipkin)

I have to admit I’ve never actually seen "Cape Fear"—original or reboot—so there are probably a handful of nods that slipped by me. But this is "The Simpsons" at its heyday, with a classic Sideshow Bob plot to finally off Bart, complete with the now iconic rake gag. In true low brow/high brow fashion, the episode has several Gilbert & Sullivan references, including Bart goading Sideshow Bob to perform the entire HMS Pinafore catalog. Sideshow Bob eventually got overused, but here he’s still a sadistic creep who just can’t catch a break.

Episode 84

Homer Goes To College

Michael Lipkin (@mlipkin)

This episode, by Conan O’Brien in one of his last writing credits on the show, gets off to a great start—Homer is so incompetent at his job that he can cause a reactor simulator to meltdown, despite not actually having any fissile material. The solution? Send him to college to act out most Animal House et al. clichés. The story gets a bit same-y for me after that, and I miss the episode’s cleverer gags, like Mr. Burns desperately trying to do his best DeNiro from "The Untouchables." Homer learns to love the campus nerds after giving them a hard time--you know the drill.

Episode 85

Rosebud

Daryl Baxter

Yes. We'll send the eye.'

It may be only 20 minutes, but it feels like a feature length movie. We get loss, adventure, reunion, and of course, comedy with no minute spared for a breather. Mr Burns discovers his long lost bear, representing his innocence, when he was a young boy, has returned after its own, 'adventure'.

I don't need to say anymore on this episode. It's a classic. You've probably seen it a hundred times. And after reading this, the 101st time.

Enjoy.

Episode 86

Treehouse of Horror IV

Daryl Baxter

Three stories, each with heavy influences, and Lionel Hutz. While Ned Flanders is the devil, which is a perfect choice. The first is about Homer selling his soul for a donut to Ned 'Devil', and then being represented by Lionel Hutz. 'Which is unbreakable!' The second is twist on the famous Twilight Zone episode, where Bart sees a gremlin on the bus, and the last is Mr Burns as Dracula. 'Dad, that's not his heart.' Every moment isn't wasted, with a classic quote you're still saying in casual conversation 20 years on.

Episode 87

Marge on the Lam

Julio Angel Ortiz

An episode very much a product of its time. Geraldo, Crystal Pepsi, Doctor Quinn: Medicine Woman, LA Law, and rave references abound (to name just a few), underscored by a riff on "Thelma and Louise" featuring Marge. The jokes come subtle and heavy- "Shot Kickers" is brilliant, while Chief Wiggum's reference to an accidental homosexual encounter with a blow-up doll is... whoa. The bored housewives and apologetic husbands theme feels tired in this day and age, but the script provides enough punch to keep you engaged the entire time.

Episode 88

Bart's Inner Child

Julio Angel Ortiz

A cryptic Krusty the Clown selling a trampoline, a self-help guru, and a soul-crushing loss of identity: this episode’s commentary on the gullibility of the masses and using absurdity to hold a mirror to our society is still relevant today, even if the methodology isn’t. The episode is a bit of a letdown. Despite some interesting imagery (children strewn about the Simpsons’ backyard like a battlefield) and more creepy jokes (who wants to imagine the Sea Captain masturbating to Marge’s naked sisters?), the episode drowns in its cautionary trappings.

Episode 89

Boy Scoutz N the Hood

Brandon (@Brandon_McKoy)

In a tale about the perils of all-night benders due to slushies composed entirely of syrup, Bart accidentally joins the Junior Campers of which Ned Flanders is the leader. When the time comes to go on a Father/Son trip, Bart and Homer get along as well as you'd expect. The real star of this episode is the interminable Ernest Borgnine, who mentors a young trooper, leads the rest of the camp troupe through the woods, fights a bear without a knife, and sings songs around a campfire all while wearing a dashing captain's hat in the style of Gilligan.

Episode 90

The Last Temptation of Homer

Brandon (@Brandon_McKoy)

This classic episode shows something that we never thought was possible - a smoking hot female version of Homer Simpson. When Mindy Simmons shows up at the power plant, Homer can't help but be infatuated with her. He does everything he can to avoid her but despite his efforts, Mr. Burns sends them to Capital City together to represent the plant. At the behest of a prescient fortune cookie, Homer accepts his fate and prepares to get down to business with Mindy, who assures him that they don't have. Good thing, as Homer and Marge stay together and get it on.

Episode 91

$pringfield (or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)

A.J. Kueterman

This episode is as golden as the streets in old time Springfield, a city "on the grow!" But when the modern town finds themselves on tough times, even stick in the mud Marge can agree to overlook the moral issues of gambling to allow the construction of a new casino in town, which of course leads to a whole array of issues including Marge’s compulsive gambling addiction. The laughs come at breakneck speed in this episode from the meat of The Simpsons glory years. The obvious 2001: A Space Odyssey reference involving Mr. Burns validates the episode’s lengthy subtitle.

Episode 92

Homer the Vigilante

A.J. Kueterman

A nefarious cat burglar has been terrorizing the town of Springfield! When the brilliant Chief Wiggum isn’t able to produce results, the town forms a neighborhood watch and elects Homer as their leader. In a shocking turn of events, Homer is ineffectual and rampantly abuses his power. Luckily Grandpa is there to catch the culprit – Molloy! This episode, especially the escapades of the town males and any moment of Chief Wiggum onscreen, is A+ simpsons quality. (Side note: this is the episode that actually contains the classic Dr. Strangelove bomb drop reference)

Episode 93

Bart Gets Famous

Sean Westcott (@basementhacker)

"I didn't do it."

This is the episode where The Simpsons say "Yes, we know."

Fads, the fickleness of fame, the allure and mundanity of show business and Conan.

"If anyone needs me, I will be in my room."

Episode 94

Homer and Apu

Sean Westcott (@basementhacker)

"Please don't make me return to the scene of my spiritual de-pantsing"

Apu looses his job (thanks to Homer) and moves in with the Simpsons featuring one of the better song and dance numbers "Who needs a Kwik -E- Mart" with guest appearance by James Woods.

"Who need's a Kwik -E-Mart ...WE DO"

Episode 95

Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy

Michael Ratty (@HeyRatty)

A disastrous appearance by Matlock in Springfield has Grampa Simpson thinking about his mortality, so he vows to make the most his winter years by working for Squeaky-Voiced Teen at Krusty Burger. Lisa is disgusted by the sexist platitudes coming from Talking Malibu Stacy, so she reaches out to the toymaker but is rebuffed. With the help of the top Malibu Stacy collector Waylon Smithers, Lisa finds the doll’s creator and sets out to make a new, intelligent doll young girls can look up to. The new doll ("Lisa Lionheart") doesn’t sell well but reaches at least one customer.

Episode 96

Deep Space Homer

Michael Ratty (@HeyRatty)

In one of Season 5’s best episodes, Homer finds out if he has the Right...what’s that Stuff? Stymied by low television ratings, NASA (Nassau?), recruits Homer and Barney to compete to become the first everyman astronaut. Homer wins by de-fault ("the two sweetest words in the English language!") and travels to space with Buzz Aldrin and Race Spanion. Disaster strikes via an opened bag of potato chips and a curiously placed insect farm ("HAIL ANTS") but Homer saves the day w/ the help of James Taylor and an Inanimate Carbon Rod. In Rod We Trust.

Episode 97

Homer Loves Flanders

Eden Rohatensky (@edenthecat)

After reluctantly attending a sold out football game with Flanders, Homer chooses Flanders as his new BFF. Homer becomes excessively attached, wanting to spend every day with Flanders. Flanders becomes annoyed by Homer’s overbearing attitude, in addition to Homer destroying Flanders’ reputation within the church — while Homer receives praise for charity work begrudgingly done with Ned.

Flanders becomes so annoyed with Homer that he lashes out against Homer’s nose-breathing during a moment of silence in church. The congregation persecutes Flanders for this, but Homer defends his friend - causing the two to vow their true (though temporary) friendship.

Honestly, who wouldn’t want a neighbour like Flanders?

Episode 99

Burns' Heir

Monica Petraitis (@monicamartinez)

Classic Simpsons — funny lines and solid storyline that shows money can't buy everything.

A near-death experience leads Mr. Burns to search for an heir to carry on his legacy and inherit his fortune. He selects Bart, who quickly gets used to the luxury and special treatment.

When Bart doesn't get the same treatment at home, he decides to live at the mansion. He grows to miss his family, but Burns tricks him into believing his family doesn't want him anymore. When Burns demands that Bart fire his father to prove his loyalty, Bart realizes he loves his family and fires Mr. Burns as his "Dad."

Episode 100

Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baadassss Song

Monica Petraitis (@monicamartinez)

After Bart accidentally gets Principal Skinner fired, he hangs out with Skinner out of guilt, and the two become friends. But Skinner misses his authoritative role, and re-enlists in the Army.

Meanwhile, Skinner's replacement Ned Flanders lets the school fall into chaos, and Bart realizes he needs Skinner as his counter-character. Bart schemes to get Flanders fired, which ultimately happens when Chalmers witnesses, not the chaos, but the religious element that Flanders brought to the school.

With Bart's advice, Skinner is able to get out of the Army and get his job back. Bart, in turn, gets his nemesis back.

Episode 101

The Boy Who Knew Too Much

Joey Daniewicz (@noisecritic)

After a first act cat and mouse tale of Bart playing hooky, this episode centers around a young Quimby best understood when he tells the woman in his car, "I’m not paying you to talk."

Homer is selected for jury duty (Lisa: "I knew it was a bad idea to watch him open the mail") and Bart is torn between letting an innocent man go to prison and telling Skinner, a man who thinks Free Willie "a disobedient whale," that he skipped school.

Homer’s greed stalls the jury long enough for Bart’s guilt to clear Quimby. Though perhaps imagined as the writing team’s commentary on the young Kennedys, this episode became a riff on the legal system (chicks on the bench!) and a setup through which to showcase Bart and Homer (and Skinner!). It’s the show near its peak of hilarity.

Episode 102

Lady Bouvier's Lover

Julio Angel Ortiz

An episode that comes across fairly flat. Each storyline doesn’t bring much new to the table. Bart’s storyline of using his dad’s credit card doesn’t wind up meaning much and feels like filler. And the clichéd matchmaking plot, despite the usual Simpsons special sauce (Meta commercial joke? Retro-animation jazz scene? Judge Reinhold reference?) does little to spice up an episode that feels as tired as a Matlock marathon. An example of the series trying to be too clever for it’s own good, but like a cynical Generation X kid, I’d say, "Prove it."

Episode 103

Secrets of a Successful Marriage

Patrick Fisher (@pwkfisher)

Despite making off with everyone’s cash at poker, he comes to the realization that he might be slow….a couple hours after Carl calls him slow. The natural response? To teach a class on having a good marriage, of course! But, when Homer start spilling his marriage secrets to his students, Marge throws him out, leaving him to wither away in Bart’s Treehouse. After some thought, he comes to realise that his gift to Marge is total dependence on her, and they happily make up.

Favourite Quote: "Hey! I’m choking on my own rage over here!"

Season 6

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Episode 104

Bart of Darkness

Patrick Fisher (@pwkfisher)

It’s a hot summer in Springfield, and after getting a taste of the one day a year Poolmobile, Bart and Lisa successfully get a pool from Homer. Though, courtesy of Bart’s fall, he breaks his leg and spends the summer isolated. Thanks to a gift telescope from Lisa, he spots Flanders screaming and burying something in the backyard. Thinking he killed Maude, he sends Lisa into his home to investigate. Once getting caught though, they find out it was just a plant he killed while Maude was away.

Favourite Quote: "Let us celebrate our new arrangement with the adding of chocolate to milk."

Episode 105

Lisa's Rival

Tony Kozuch (@tonykoz)

As evident from the title, this is a Lisa episode — and that's a great thing. We don't get too many Lisa-centric episodes, and this is a good one.

In a nutshell, Lisa takes pride in being the top brain at Springfield Elementary. When a new girl comes to town and is seemingly better than Lisa at everything, the middle-Simpson isn't quite sure how to cope. In the end, that status-quo is restored, but there are some good bits along the way. Lisa having a hard time even bounch a ball is a high-point.

Episode 106

Another Simpsons Clip Show

Tony Kozuch (@tonykoz)

The clip shows can be hit or miss in the days of DVD and on-demand, but back in the day, and episode like this would give you a nice trip down memory lane.

In the episode, Marge laments over the current lull in her marriage. Homer reminds her, through a series of clips, that their relationship is strong. Unfortunately, he only reinforces how tumultuous things have been.

All in all, a good episode to relive some classic moments, with a nice little wrapper setting them up.

Episode 107

Itchy & Scratchy Land

Amber M

Easily in the top 10 episodes from the first 10 seasons, this is the single most quoted Simpsons episode of all time*. The family takes a road trip to the Disney-esque Itchy & Scratchy Land where things are not as happy as they seem. There are too many classic quotes from this episode to list them all, but remember to stock up and your Bort license plates and remind Marge’s older, balder, fatter son that we’re parked in the Itchy lot, where nothing can possi-bleye go wrong, and let us never speak of the shortcut again.

*In my household

Episode 108

Sideshow Bob Roberts

Amber M

Mayor Quimby is under fire from Springfield’s powerful Republicans (notable members include an Austrian movie star, an AM radio conservative pundit, and a green Nosferatu). Somehow, Homer doesn’t remember Krusty’s former sidekick who married Selma and was imprisoned for trying to kill Bart. Bob claims to be reformed, runs against Quimby in the mayoral race and wins. Lisa suspects something is amiss and uncovers a Chicago-voter-style scheme used to get Bob elected and exposes him just before the Simpsons’ home is demolished to make way for the Matlock Expressway. Sideshow Bob goes back to prison and all is right Springfield again.

Episode 109

Treehouse of Horror V

Eric Metelka (@eric3000)

I'd like to focus on perhaps my favorite Treehouse segment of all time — "Time and Punishment". We hear Grandpa Simpson's astute advice to Homer on his wedding night: "If you ever travel back in time, don't step on anything. Because even the slightest change can alter the future in ways you can't imagine." When Homer does travel to the past thanks to a hacked toaster and changes his present (and the laws of physics), "Eh, close enough" is his answer when he can't find his way home. I think most of us would agree with that.

Episode 110

Bart's Girlfriend

Eric Metelka (@eric3000)

Bart's crush on Reverend Lovejoy's daughter, Jessica, teaches us two lessons: 1. People aren't always who you think they are. The perfect reverend's daughter turns out to be far worse than Bart is. 2. Guys will do anything to win the favor of a pretty girl. Not the best episode of the stellar Season 6, but upon re-watching reminds us that The Simpsons at its best is a grounded family drama complete with allegories. The cut-aways, literal humor (Sarah plain and tall), physical comedy, and pop culture references ("Silence of the Lambs") are what make The Simpsons special.

Episode 111

Lisa on Ice

Scott Gower (@scottmgower)

"Competitive violence! That's why you're here!"

A failing grade in P.E. threatens to spoil Lisa's flawless academic record until she discovers her hidden talent as a hockey goalie. This venture turns up the volume on the sibling rivalry between Bart and Lisa, as they are forced to go against each other in a matchup the entire town of Springfield is excited to see.

"The winner will be showered with praise. The loser will be taunted and booed until my throat is sore." - Homer J. Simpson

Episode 112

Homer Badman

Scott Gower (@scottmgower)

"Ay, ay, ay! Es Homer Simpson. Me ha molestado! Oh!"

A candy-grabbing misunderstanding lands Homer with sexual harassment accusations from babysitter Ashley Grant. While Homer keeps making things worse for himself, an unexpected ally comes in the form of the peeping Groundskeeper Willie, whose video evidence frees Homer from the accusations.

Ashley: Hmm. Homer, I thought you were an animal, but your daughter said you were a decent man. I guess she was right.

Homer: You're both right.

Episode 113

Grampa vs. Sexual Inadequacy

Shyam Sabhaya

Plot: Homer and Marge are lacking intimacy in their marriage. Grampa Simpson comes to the rescue with an old family remedy. After seeing the success of the remedy, Homer and Grampa start selling the remedy to others in Springfield. Realizing Grampa never supported him, Homer fights with Grampa, who calls Homer an accident, leading to the end of their Simpson and Son business. Later, Homer and Grampa hug it out, calling themselves screw ups.

Highlights: The children’s theory on their parents’ early bedtime. Al Gore. Remember, "if it is in a book, then it has to be real".

Overall: 8/10

Episode 114

Fear of Flying

Shyam Sabhaya

Plot: After being kicked out of Moe’s, Homer looks for another bar. Mistaken for a pilot, Homer causes an accident, leading to unlimited tickets for the Simpsons as the airline company covers it up. While the plane is preparing to takeoff, Marge freaks out, exposing her fear of flying. Seeing a therapist, Marge learns her fear stems from learning her father was a flight stewardess and not a pilot.

Highlights: Never unscrew the top of a shaker as a prank. If your name is Guyin Cognito, run. Always repress your emotions. And remember, fix the roof and then bake.

Overall: 9/10

Episode 115

Homer the Great

Chris Plante (@plante)

Homer the Great is best known for its Emmy nominated song, "We Do," a rousing drinking anthem belted by the Stonecutters, Springfield’s Freemason-like fraternity. The episode is itself like "We Do," crammed with jokes, references and backstory. In 20-some minutes, Homer goes from outsider to insider to leader to outsider again of the mysterious organization. In the end, Homer learns he’s part of the best exclusive club: the family, of course. Homer the Great and Maggie Makes Three, the following episode, are debatably the perfect Simpsons pairing: The former is one of the show’s funniest episodes, the latter one of its most sentimental.

Episode 116

And Maggie Makes Three

Chris Plante (@plante)

In the words of episode 293 guest stars The Rolling Stones, "You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes well you might find you get what you need." In this flashback episode about Maggie’s first word, we learn a debt-free Homer quit his day job to work at the local bowling alley. Shortly after, Maggie is born. Unable to support a third child, Homer must return to the plant, hat in hand. The arc is simple, relatable and uplifting: a father must compromise his own happiness for his family, only to discover the work is worth it. "Do it for her."

Episode 117

Bart's Comet

Jere Pilapil (@JerePila)

Predictably, this is a great episode from a great Simpsons season. More predictable (but distressing)? All of the political satire is still sharp. From the start, where military pilots bicker about funding healthcare over military, to the end, where Congressional greed prevents Springfield from being saved from the titular comet, all of the satire is as relevant as ever.

And now a list of people Homer considered more useful to the post-apocalyptic Springfield than Ned Flanders: Sideshow Mel, Barney, Helen Lovejoy, Dr. Nick Riviera, The Sea Captain, Nelson, Jimbo, Kearney, nameless extras, Waldo on an ill-timed travel schedule.

Episode 118

Homie the Clown

Jere Pilapil (@JerePila)

I think the most enduring gag from "Homie the Clown" (an episode full of great gags) is Homer with a pickaxe popping "speed holes " into his car after a mob henchman shoots a car he’s attempting to get for free by impersonating Krusty… You know what? So much happens in these episodes; that whole summary only two-thirds of the episode! It’s a feat of terrific writing that the writers were able to convey a clear story with so many jokes while also finding time to give the world, "These are speed holes. They make the car go faster."

Episode 119

Bart vs. Australia

Karim Mourad (@ratmfoo)

Bart calls Aussie land
Raises hell and must go there
Moons the citizens

Episode 120

Homer vs. Patty and Selma

Karim Mourad (@ratmfoo)

Homer loses money
Borrows from Patty and Selma
Saves them from trouble

Episode 121

A Star Is Burns

Steve Black Jr. (@draggingalake)

In this episode, Springfield decided to host a Film Festival. "Famed" critic, Jay Sherman, was the guest start in this episode. This episode was really a cross between The Simpson and The Critic. The Critic was a short-lived animated series started by Al Jean. The films shown ranged from Apu's "Bright Lights, Beef Jerky" to Bart's "The Eternal Struggle" and Homer's favorite Hans Moleman's, "Man Getting Hit by Football". The best highlight of this episode was easily Señor Spielbergo who directed Burn's film.

Episode 122

Lisa's Wedding

Steve Black Jr. (@draggingalake)

Lisa's Wedding is the first of four episodes (currently) that take place in the future. The episode eases in with some jokes at a renaissance fair. Lisa meeting a fortune teller who tells her of her future of love. Lisa, who is 23 now, falls in love with a British character, Hugh Parkfield. Hugh asks Lisa to marry him while in England, and they fly back so Hugh can finally meet the rest of the Simpsons. Lisa discovers that Hugh cannot stand her family and ultimately the relationship ends on Lisa choosing her dysfunctional family over her love.

Episode 123

Two Dozen And One Greyhounds

Jeff H. (@jeffunscripted)

One of my favorite episodes. After Santa's Little Helper get a race dog pregnant, the Simpsons have a ton of puppies, which Mr. Burns steals in an attempt to make a Greyhound tuxedo treating us to a musical rendition of "See My Vest" (ala Be Our Guest). After the puppies begin to stand, reminding him of Rory Calhoun, Mr. Burns decides not to kill them, and instead they win millions in dog racing. Seriously, this one is a classic with great jokes in it.

Episode 124

The PTA Disbands

Patrick Fisher (@pwkfisher)

This episode is great just because it breaks a lot of moulds for characters - watching Bart have to behave because his mom is the teacher, watching Lisa struggle in a world without school to excel at, and watching Skinner fight with someone other than Bart. It’s an episode packs with random jokes and laughter (Anita Bath, the debate about taxes, chaos at the bank, etc), and is one of my favourite episodes of the series.

Favourite Quote: "Oh come on now Edna we all know these children have no future! …...prove me wrong, children! Prove me wrong!"

Episode 125

Round Springfield

Joey Daniewicz (@noisecritic)

Converging twin Bart/Lisa plots remains my favorite Simpsons format, and, like standard-bearer "Lisa’s Substitute," the A-plot is sentimental while the B-plot is ferociously quote-worthy. Lisa adds Bleeding Gums to Bergstrom on her list of heroes to whom she’s said goodbye. After his pep talk, punctuated by "nobody ever suspects the butterfly," fails, Bart denies himself a Steve Allen Pog and uses his Hutz-derived legal winnings to help Lisa find peace, but it takes divine intervention to bring Murphy’s music to Springfield. It’s a solid foundation for those arguing for Lisa Simpson as television’s greatest character.

Episode 126

The Springfield Connection

Joey Daniewicz (@noisecritic)

In which Marge foils a counterfeit jeans ring operating out of her car-hole. Though it reaches the high bar for humor that classic Simpsons episodes set, the narrative arc here is actually as shoddy as those jeans. The setup, Marge seeking adrenaline (after an unexpected triumph over hoodlums giving three-card monte a bad name) and becoming a cop, is solid. I enjoy Herman and that his scheme laughed at its own absurdity, but the sequence failed to convince me that Homer should be absolved of his disrespect for his wife in uniform just as Marge’s sudden retirement due to "corruption" could use the depth of Lisa’s questions about the prison industrial complex. Relative to its era, this episode is certainly substandard.

Episode 127

Lemon of Troy

Lucas Choate (@lchoate)

Based in part on the mythical military strategy, the Trojan Horse, Bart and company have to retrieve Springfield’s lemon tree from the kids in Shelbyville who’ve stolen it and are hiding it in the "impenetrable fortress of suburbia", an impound lot. Bart is in perfect form; he’s insolent, optimistic and honest about who he is. Homer is great and "stupider like a fox" too.

Most Simpsons fans will agree, Lemon of Troy is easily a top ten episode, maybe even in the top five. I'd call Lemon of Troy a favorite episode myself.

Episode 128

Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part One)

Lucas Choate (@lchoate)

Mr. Burns, you insufferable shit. We all shot you. You deserved it. You've gone beyond the pale this time. While we've cowed to your demands and suffered your indignities in the past, no more. You, sir are a coward and a scoundrel.

Burn in hell Mr. Burns.

Season 7

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Episode 129

Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part Two)

Michael Tizzano (@miketizzano)

The show sports a cast of characters so robust and memorable it can sustain a two-part murder mystery, replete with hilarious and fitting roles for each Springfield denizen. Moe’s lonely life is revealed through polygraph, Dr Nick asks an unresponsive Mr Burns if his brain felt damaged, and Jasper tells us that sidewalks are for regular, not fancy, walkin’. We are invariably charmed by the characters we’ve come to know over six seasons, so much so that we laugh along with this self-indulgent exercise. The episode is whimsical, culturally literate, heartfelt, and everything else we’ve come to expect from The Simpsons. "Who Shot Mr Burns" is an exemplar of the series, as well as a love letter to it.

Episode 130

Radioactive Man

Michael Tizzano (@miketizzano)

Milhouse has greatness thrust upon him when Hollywood execs come to Springfield as cast him as Fall-Out Boy for the Radioactive Man film. In a delightful subversion, the small town folk scam and cheat the honorable show business people until they have nothing left. The episode’s best moments feature Rainer Wolfcastle as the titular superhero, with all too quotable lines such as "Up and at them!" and "My eyes! The goggles do nothing!" Overall the episode is superficial, plot-thin and absurdly funny. What could have been a story about Bart and Milhouse’s friendship becomes a cartoonish satire of our perceptions of Hollywood. Sometimes, only The Simpsons will do.

Episode 131

Home Sweet Homediddly-Dum-Doodily

Joey Daniewicz (@noisecritic)

First, let me say that nothing in this episode, absolutely nothing, comes close to being as funny as an annoyed Abe Simpson going "bitch, bitch, bitch." It’s one of the best things to happen in this series, and that’s saying lots.

The setup of "toilet paper hung in improper overhand fashion," among other things, taking the kids away is really just an excuse to showcase the Flanders family, whose house has a "Pat Boone-ish" quality to it.

Long story short, Bart and Lisa hate it ("They read Newsweek instead of nothing!"), Maggie loves it, and Homer and Marge win the kids back after going through a silly public class. It’s a predictable sitcom setup and trajectory, but the fabric is spun into gold. Today’s writers are lost when it comes to writing this show, but episodes like this make it feel like the old team could do this all in their sleep. But I digress. Bitch, bitch, bitch.

Episode 133

Lisa the Vegetarian

John Ryan Manning (@GhrondoRhondo)

Lisa decides to become a vegetarian despite Homer and the rest of the world trying to make her eat meat. It’s a pretty great episode all around and It’s the first full one written by David X Cohen (head writer of futurama) There’s a very solid itchy and scratchy show that had me loling a bit, and a joke about "independent thought alarms" that had me loling a lot. Though, the most notable thing about this episode is that Lisa’s decision to become a vegetarian carries on through the rest of the series as a permanent change, a rare phenomenon in The Simpsons.

Episode 134

Treehouse of Horror VI

John Ryan Manning (@GhrondoRhondo)

• A bunch of giant advertising statues (like the Lard Lad Donuts guy) become sentient and destroy the town, Stay-puft marshmallow man style. It’s fine. not LOL funny, but fun.

• An homage to "Nightmare on Elm Street" with Groundskeeper Willy as the Freddy Krueger. Really well done, great detail in the animation of Willy as a giant bagpipe spider.

• Trying to avoid Patty and Selma, Homer stumbles on a doorway to the third dimension. This episode is super memorable to me because the 3rd dimension scenes were actually done with CGI. It’s a really fun and funny short with a dense mix of jokes and sci-fi.

Episode 135

King-Size Homer

August Alfredsson (@alfrdalfrdalfrd)

"To start press any key. Where’s the any key?"

Sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for. In an attempt to be allowed to work from home, Homer has to gain 61 pounds to be classified as disabled. This classic episode is all about Homer’s quest for doing as little work as possible, culminating with him sitting on the couch wearing a muumuu operating the terminal with a broom. He soon has to experience the drawbacks of his new lifestyle, but in the end it’s his 300 pound body that saves springfield from a nuclear disaster.

Episode 136

Mother Simpson

August Alfredsson (@alfrdalfrdalfrd)

Homer’s mother has been dead for 27 years when he meets her at a cemetery after faking his own death. How is she still alive? What has she been the last 27 years? The Simpson family starts to question her and she tells the story of why she left Homer and Abe. Young Chief Wiggum is hilarious. Lisa finally finds a like-minded person in the family. This is one of the most beautiful and sad episodes of the series, ending with Homer being left by his mother once again, sitting on the hood of his car watching the stars.

Episode 137

Sideshow Bob's Last Gleaming

George Ulloa (@geo1912)

Sideshow Bob, the thespian in jester’s clothing. By the 7th season we have pretty much seen Bob move away from killing Bart to at this point aiming to destroy lowbrow culture. Bob currently staying in Springfield penitentiary does his prison labor at a local air show where he hijacks a nuclear bomb and threatens to blow up the town unless they shut down all television stations. Krusty sees this as a great opportunity to boost his rating (to 100%!) and defies Bob. Very smart, very meta, and filled to the brim with classic moments (I really want to see a show that involves a scorpion and a gasoline can). Also "Sweet Enola Gay" is R. Lee Emery is hilarious as Col. Leslie "Hap" Hapablap. While agree with Bob that the ending is cliché I cant help to be one of those slack jawed yokels who laughed every step of the way, and when you think about it isn’t that what really matters?

Episode 138

The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular

George Ulloa (@geo1912)

Wow. If there was a fourth wall this episode broke it, sat down next to you on the couch and asked if it could change the channel. One of the weirdest episodes ever made (and that’s is including the equally wonderful 25 short stories about Springfield) but a successful experiment. Filled with deleted scenes and outtakes the episode feels very much like a clip show, but rather a great tribute to itself. From Troy McClure chain smoking while giving quizzes (what a shame I thought Bleeding Gums Murphy had more fans) to showing deleted scenes (I do not understand how someone would not include a Robotic Richard Simmons in an episode). There is episode is a fun mid season tribute to American favorite family. Though lets be honest here, you were all watching it for the hardcore nudity.

Episode 139

Marge Be Not Proud

Joey Daniewicz (@noisecritic)

This is the story of a mother failing to notice the warning signs her little boy is growing up and being shocked into it, despite his thirst for an excessively violent video game. Marge quotes Forrest Gump and doesn’t flinch when Bart calls her lame.

Seeing her son steal on video throws everything she thinks she knows about Bart into question. She breaks. She nearly ceases interaction, not out of anger, but because she doesn’t feel she knows her son enough to.

Young boys love their mothers enough to follow the Oedipus complex narrative, but the chasm between them grows nigh exponentially. Bart showing his mother she wasn’t so mistaken about her firstborn is one of the most precious moments of the series.

Episode 141

Two Bad Neighbors

Lore Keating (@lafemmebrulant)

Once upon a time, George H. W. Bush announced to the world that Americans should strive to be more like the Waltons, not the Simpsons. The creators had their satirical revenge when the 41st President arrives in Springfield. The episode is notable not only for its introduction of Disco Stu, but also for its more straightforward lampooning at the expense of the former president. By season seven, the hit show was being lauded for its wit and relatable characters. While often oafish, Homer is ultimately just a big kid, but one who frequently displays the heartfelt desire to resolve any issues surrounding (and frequently started by) his family. The greatest gag of the episode might be the episode itself as Homer acts just as irresponsibly as he was once called out to be, and then in a slight break from character offers no reconciliation or apology for his behavior throughout the episode. Rife with fast gags, and repeatedly inverting sitcom tropes surrounding compromise and learning-lessons, unlike much politically themed comedy this episode still merits laughs even eighteen years later.

Episode 142

Scenes from the Class Struggle in Springfield

Lore Keating (@lafemmebrulant)

The most literary of the season, episode 14 reminds the audience that The Simpsons was a brilliant social satire. When their TV is broken, the Simpson family drives to Ogdenville to purchase another at a thrift shop. There, Marge reluctantly buys a designer suit because of its bargain price. Delighted with it, she wears it everywhere, one day drawing the attention of a former high school classmate. The classmate invites Marge to the local Country Club for the day. The characters of Springfield as the audience has always known them are dependably unchanging, but the rich of Springfield are distinct in the way their fashions vary daily. Desperate to fit in, Marge begins to alter the suit she so loves so that it will look new and hopefully better each time, cutting pieces away every night – a useful metaphor for her own degraded principles. But what in literature might have been a tragedy is saved by the humanity of her family when she finally realizes that she has altered herself enough, and they abandon the country club for a family dinner at Krusty Burger. Poignant social messages like the one in this episode are exactly what endeared audiences to The Simpsons, and it still works.

Episode 143

Bart The Fink

Nicole Scola (@NicoleLouiseS)

Once again, Bart messes with the life of Krusty the Clown.Bart, with the help of his new checking account and Krusty’s Cayman Island Holdings Account stamp, gets the clown busted for tax fraud and in the throes of financial despair, Krusty crashes his plane into a mountain, killing himself….or did he? The great detective team of Bart and Lisa get the sneaking suspicion that Krusty faked his death and after they track down Rory B. Bellows, their suspicions are confirmed. The dynamic duo convince Krusty to comeback and with the life insurance policy of Rory B. Bellows, Krusty has the money to start over again.

While not the best of the season, I’d still give it a 7 out of 10, mostly because I want to go to Comic Book Guy’s taco filled Doctor Who marathon.

Episode 144

Lisa the Iconoclast

Lucas Thomas (@pensivedumpling)

‘Lisa the Iconoclast’ is a perfectly cromulent episode. While Homer steals the role of Town Crier from Ned, Lisa heads to the Historical Society to research Sprinfield’s founding father, Jebediah Springfield. Hidden in his fife she discovers proof that Jebediah was in fact the murderous pirate "Hanz Sprungfeld. Lisa attempts to correct history but is thwarted by the towns hero worship. In the end she sees that indeed, "A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man." and allows the myth to live on. This episode is ripe with the subtle jokes that define "the good seasons". It only leaves me with two questions:

1. Where’s the fife? And
2. Gimme the fife.

Episode 145

Homer the Smithers

Patrick Fisher (@pwkfisher)

Not only do you learn about how helpless Mr. Burns is, but you learn about Homer’s hidden desire to do well at work. Of course, because he isn’t very bright, he can’t do any tasks well (Best scene in the episode is him somehow getting milk and cornflakes to spontaneously combust), and the insulting from Mr. Burns causes him to snap and punch him. Hiding in fear, he learns to become self sufficient...until Homer knocks him out of a window again.

Favourite Quote: Homer: "Your car is being crushed into a cube; You have thirty minutes to move your cube. Mr. Burns’ office!"

Mr. Burns: "Is it about my cube?"

Episode 146

The Day The Violence Died

Jeff H. (@jeffunscripted)

It's Itchy and Scratchy's 75th anniversary. Bart meets Chester J. Lampwick who claims that he, not Roger Myers, created Itchy. After he shows the original film to Bart and Milhouse, it goes up in flames, leaving no proof of creation. They hire Lionel Hutz & sue the film company for $800M. They win when Bart gets an Itchy drawing from the comic book shop which is dated and reveals Chester did create Itchy. The company goes bankrupt but is able to finance new cartoons after they sue the Post Office claiming their character was actually ripped off of Roger Meyer's actual creations. Doppelgangers of Bart and Lisa helped cause this. We end with a new Itchy and Scratchy cartoon that rips off Monty Pyhton and Looney Toons, among others.

Episode 147

A Fish Called Selma

D Davis (@dfdx2)

Troy "You may know me from such films as" McClure is flirting with Selma and offers to take her to dinner in exchange for passing his eye test. After being seen with a real woman his agent who hasn't called in 8 years calls and tells him work will come. Selma is ok being in a sham marriage while Troy gets work in a remake of Planet of the Apes and is set to be the sidekick in a new McBain movie but he decides to star in his own creation "The Contrabulus Fabtraption of Professor Horatio Hufnagel" FAIL!

Episode 148

Bart on the Road

D Davis (@dfdx2)

After going to work with Patty and Selma, Bart makes a fake driver’s license and schemes with Millhouse, Martin, Nelson and he go the National Grammar Rodeo in Canada, but end up on a road trip to the Worlds Fair in Knoxville, The only one problem it was in 1982, now trapped when the sun sphere falls on the rental car. Bart calls Lisa for help. Bart becomes a courier the world but not to Springfield. Lisa tells Homer but promises to keep the secret, orders equipment and has it delivered by courier so the boys hide in the crate.

Episode 149

22 Short Films About Springfield

Joey Daniewicz (@noisecritic)

If this isn’t a top five episode for you, you’re wrong.

Though many episodes demonstrate the quality that makes this show The Beatles of television, none so display the dimensionality of its universe that’s so key to its phenomenon status.

Among so much, Dr. Nick warns of skin failure, and that Abe’s skeleton will try to leap out the mouth and escape the body. Chief Wiggum stars in a strange Pulp Fiction homage ("they don’t call it a Krusty Burger with cheese"). The Bumblebee Man bit reaches its only logical conclusion. Nelson is ordered to wave to the people and blow them kisses by the greatest single-scene character this show ever created.

But the best of all comes when Skinner tells Chalmers no, he may not see Aurora Borealis localized entirely within his kitchen.

Episode 150

Raging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson in "The Curse of the Flying Hellfish"

Joey Daniewicz (@noisecritic)

Here, we have a plot that seems reminiscent of the show’s approach a decade later, but it survives and thrives on the tone and approach used by Simpsons episodes of yore. This is Abe Simpson’s triumph. He’s often tossed aside and laughed at a la Meg Griffin, but here he becomes the hero his stories about nickels with pictures of bumblebees on ‘em told of.

Burns has also rarely been as direct an antagonist as here, attempting to assassinate Abe for a fortune that’s surely paltry to him and trying to murder Bart with no reason. Low on laughs (notably barring Burns’ failed assassination attempts) but high on thrills and sentiment, "Flying Hellfish" succeeds on a blueprint of revealed character backstory that modern Simpsons writers would do well to study.

Episode 151

Much Apu About Nothing

Julio Angel Ortiz

This episode features a razor-sharp script that doesn’t flinch away from the foils of mob mentality and scapegoating on the issues of immigration. The story is very appropriate in this day and age. Apu’s flashback to life in India is very dated in the post-Politically Correct era. The script eschews the typical wealth of pop culture minutia (though they’re still there) and replaces them with a lot of heart. The story straddles the fine line between preachy and commentary, and thankfully stays the course. A top-notch effort.

Episode 152

Homerpalooza

Cory Anotado (@pacdude)

Baby Boomers love the Grateful Dead, the Gen Xers can't get enough of Nirvana, and whatever the hell I am (Millenials? Gen Y? Apathetic?) won't shut up about the late 90s. Homerpalooza both reinforces that nostalgic notion with its storyline (It's hard—and gut-wrenchingly painful—to become and stay cool) and with its impressive lineup of cameos, like Cyprus Hill and Billy Corgan. The story itself is rote—Homer puts himself in bodily harm to impress his kids—but the special guests are hilarious. "Homer Simpson, smiling politely," will never not get a chuckle from me.

Episode 153

Summer of 4 Ft. 2

Jonathan Johnson (@jonolafjohnson)

While the Simpson family (and Milhouse) vacation to the Flandereses’ beach house in Little Pwagmattasquarmsettport, Lisa—frustrated with her lack of friends—makes new friends after donning a new look and personality. Bart quickly grows jealous of Lisa’s newfound popularity, and attempts to sabotage it. Guest stars include Christina Ricci, and the New Yorker Dandy. This episode features a touching and relatable central plot—Lisa’s coming of age struggle to build and maintain a social life—but just as it starts to feel like an after school special, Homer utters the infinitely quotable ("SWEET MERCIFUL CRAP—MY CAR!"). This is an excellent Lisa-centric episode that deftly combines a relatable struggle of youth with golden-era moments of absurdity, cynicism, cartoony silliness, and laugh-out-loud humour grounded in well-developed characters.

8.5 disposable enemas out of 10

Season 8

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Episode 154

Treehouse of Horror VII

Jonathan Johnson (@jonolafjohnson)

This is, undoubtedly, one of the finest Treehouse of Horrors. "The Thing and I" is packed with moments of delicious brutality and darkness (Dr. Hibbert punching Hugo in the face; pigeon-rat), "The Genesis Tub" features simply brilliant animation (the tiny aerial attack on Bart is legitimately cool), while "Citizen Kang" provides political commentary and canonical lines quoted ad nauseam during every US election since. It’s hard to find fault with this episode because it so well rounded; each short is thematically unique, the animation is creative and exciting, and "Citizen Kang" might be the best ten minutes of The Simpsons ever. Am I gushing? Yes, and so should you.

Favourite line: "Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others!"

10 vainly struggling Presidential Candidates in open space out of 10.

Episode 155

You Only Move Twice

ZephyrSP (@ZephyrSP)

Sometimes a great Simpsons episode needs nothing more than a simple premise and a perfect supporting cast member. You Only Move Twice is a flippant, wacky episode that revels in being part parody and part Simpsons misadventure.

The episode is carried in its entirety by Globex CEO/Bond villian Hank Scorpio, voiced Albert Brooks. Scorpio's manic energy and exuberant positivity takes over the episode as soon as he opens the door during a fun-run. Homer's dopey straight man plays perfectly against him, and the episode is as full of laughs as any that take place in Springfield.

Episode 156

The Homer They Fall

ZephyrSP (@ZephyrSP)

The Homer They Fall is another episode the takes a simple premise and looks to carry it with the weight of its guest characters. The simple premise: what if Moe managed Homer in a fight against Mike Tyson and Don King?

With a lot of Moe and a hilarious impression of Tyson as Drederick Tatum, the episode is a great one for Hank Azaria.Paul Winfield's impression of Don King as Lucius Sweet is done well, but the character has less to work with.

While it has some funny gems, the episode can't quite keep the funny pace to hold up the somewhat flimsy premise.

Episode 157

Burns, Baby Burns

Greg Spenser (@pixelatedsoul)

Rodney Dangerfield makes a guest appearance as Mr. Burns' long lost son, Larry. Burns shows Larry off to his fellow socialites, and ends up rejecting him because of his embarrassing behavior, ruining his reputation. The plot is simple, but it's paced well and full of great gags involving Homer's brain bailing on him, and the news televising tragic outcomes with their computer simulation. It's also a vehicle for Dangerfield's one liners, which liberally pepper the script. Larry is the main character here, as the Simpsons aren't really involved much until the third act. Overall a very entertaining episode.

Episode 158

Bart After Dark

Greg Spenser (@pixelatedsoul)

This episode is a bit of a mixed bag. The first two acts have strong scenes; The kids terrorizing the neighborhood with an RC Plane, Homer showcasing his parenting ineptness, and of course Bart working at the burlesque house (Grampa's and Skinner's reaction as they see Bart is hilarious). The episode goes downhill when Marge leads a moral crusade to destroy the house, ending with Springfield becoming another angry mob (not the first time The Simpsons go down that well). That crusade is thwarted with an entertaining musical number. Solid episode, though I think the third act is the weakest part.

Episode 159

A Milhouse Divided

Cory Anotado (@pacdude)

With shades of Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolfe, A Milhouse Divided chronicles the breaking up of the Van Houten family, and how each member of the blue-haired family (as well as Homer and Marge) deal with the divorce. Luann thrives with her newfound freedom, Milhouse embraces the lack of attention and does as he pleases, and Kirk spirals into bad decision after bad decision. The episode veers heavy into the dramatic; as a child of divorce, I see a lot of realism in the Van Houten's individual actions. Divorce is hard thing to deal with, and this episode proves it.

Episode 163

The Springfield Files

A. Zajac (@HashtagAZ)

We know this episode of The Simpsons is going to be good when Leonard Nimoy opens the episode, voicing himself. As we watch, we see constant reminders of what was popular in the 90s, for example, Milhouse playing an overpriced and highly ungratifying Kevin Costner arcade game and Homer referencing Speed (though he calls it The Bus Couldn't Slow Down). The writers enjoyed lambasting both alien encounter stories and the FBI in the majority of this episode. And, of course, it wouldn't be an episode of The Simpsons without a classic mocking of Fox.

Episode 164

The Twisted World of Marge Simpson

A. Zajac (@HashtagAZ)

In this episode, Marge Simpson enters the cutthroat world of franchising. The flashy emptiness of business sales pitches makes us laugh when Marge is at the franchise expo. The butt of the jokes in this episode is also the mafia, whom Home involves in Marge's business. It all works out in the end, though it takes an early morning mob fight to settle things (one in which Homer misses "the good part" sadly).

Episode 165

Mountain of Madness

Bobby Hidy (@Bobbsled)

Mountain of Madness is definitely one of my favourite episodes. Chock full of laughs, it’s a classic Simpsons episode from start to finish. After a failed fire drill (almost a blimp attack drill), Burns takes the power plant employees to the mountain for a teamwork retreat. Hilarities ensue when Burns and Homer are teamed up and suffer cabin fever after an avalanche.

Highlights: MAGGIE’S STARFISH SNOWSUIT! The confusing Smokey the Bear, Bart’s watch with a minute hand (It’s 12:80), "Oh Lord, protect this rocket house and all who dwell within the rocket house," and poor Lenny. Aw, nuts, indeed.

Episode 166

Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious

Bobby Hidy (@Bobbsled)

Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious finds us meeting Mary Pop (strikethrough) - Shary Bobbins, "an original creation like Ricky Rouse and Monald Muck." Marge is stressed, underappreciated, overworked by her family, and losing her hair. The Simpsons hire a nanny, all of whom Homer is convinced are like Mrs. Doubtfire (RIP Robin). We have four songs, including "Cut Every Corner (It’s the American Way)". I kind of miss musical episodes. In the end, the Simpsons don’t change and I hope they never will.

Highlights: Mad About Shoe (and NYPD Shoe) on the Krusty Komedy Klassic (KKK), Apu as Stonewall Jackson, Fritz Schnackenpfefferhausen Bratwurst.

Episode 167

The Itchy and Scratchy and Pootchie Show

Nick Doucet

Worst. Episode. Ever. Those famous lines from the Comic Book Guy originate in this episode and even though I don't believe this to be the worst simpsons episode ever, it will always be momorable to me. It's the first time I have seen a TV show make fun of itself within the show. Itchy and Scratchy add a new charater called Poochie, The Simpsons add a new character named "Roy". Anything that happens with Poochie, happens to Roy. They eventually kill off Poochie, but I killed myself laughing when Roy moves in with "two sexy ladies". I'll miss Roy. I Hope he's doing well.

Episode 168

Homer's Phobia

Nick Doucet

This is the first episode of a TV Show that I remember watching that has the word homosexual mentioned in it. It was big deal for me, especially since I was only 8-9 years old when I first seen this episode. It revolves around a new character named John and how he is a homosexual. Homer loses his mind over it, and is trying to make sure he (John) doesn't turn Bart gay. The comedy in this episode isn't the greatest, but due to the nature of the topic, I understand why they couldn't go as far as they wanted to go with it.

Episode 169

Brother From Another Series

Joey Daniewicz (@noisecritic)

The Sideshow Bob episode had become routine, and despite finding his way into the mayoral office and threatening Springfield with a nuclear explosion, they find a way to bring proper grandeur to this exercise. They’d never get a Sideshow Bob episode quite right ever again.

With David Hyde Pierce joining as brother Cecil, The Simpsons briefly, strangely intersects with Frasier. The series’ archvillain is built upon, revealing how Bob accidentally won Cecil’s dream of being Krusty’s sidekick. Yale alum Bob notes that Cecil went to clown college: Princeton.

The setpiece of the Springfield dam at the climax is brilliant. Bob cuts an explosive to save the town from destruction while sacrificing himself. Bob lives and the dam explodes ANYWAY, because how can you have something like that and not use the fuck out of it?

Bob would return four seasons later, when something about the series had gone a bit sour. But for now, Bob finished as a hero.

Episode 170

My Sister, My Sitter

Lucas Thomas (@pensivedumpling)

When Ned has to run off to the Holy Land to rescue Maude from terrorists (I love that this is never mentioned again, btw) Lisa volunteers to babysit Rod and Todd. Her moth handling abilities quickly make her the go-to babysitter in Springfield. So when Homer and Marge want to attend the grand opening of the South Street Squidport, they hire Lisa. Bart is furious at being babysat by his little sister and sets out to make her regret it. Notable highlights:

• The shops on the waterfront (Turban outfitters & Planet Hype).
• Homer getting trapped in the fountain.
• Smithers standing awkwardly and unable to sit in the emergency room for… unknown reasons.

Episode 171

Homer vs. the Eighteenth Amendment

Mike McGarrigle (@MikeMcGarrigle)

After a St. Patrick's Day mishap, a 200 year old prohibition law is enforced in Springfield. The hardnosed Rex Banner replaces Chief Wiggum and Homer starts supplying the town with booze under the moniker "Beer Baron." This episode is full of jokes and gags that are easily missed on the first viewing. It also gives us one of Homer’s most iconic quotes, "To alcohol! The cause of and solution to, all of life's problems!" Do yourself a favor, crack open a beer and enjoy this classic episode.

Time to, "Won’t somebody PLEASE think of the children!" 4:25mins

Episode 172

Grade School Confidential

Mike McGarrigle (@MikeMcGarrigle)

When Edna and Seymour start up a slightly tawdry relationship, they use Bart as a go between. After getting fed up, Bart outs the couple to the school. The blow back causes them to decide between each other or their jobs. Focusing on the Seymour and Edna, we get insight into two long time characters. This episode has a lot of heart and some solid jokes. It is well written and gives you hope for these two lonely people.

Skinner does admit that he is a 44 year old virgin. So, I’m sorry to tell you Steve Carell…Simpsons did it!

Episode 173

The Canine Mutiny

Lachlan Irvine (@lirvine97)

This episode sees Bart and Santa’s Little Helper (aka Santos L. Halper) get their own credit card, with Bart buying a purebred perfectly trained collie named Laddie. It was a bittersweet episode which included Bart giving up S.L.H. to repo-men, only to have his best friend end up in the care of a pot-smoking blind man named Mr. Mitchell. Bart also gives Laddie to Chief Wiggum, where he becomes a police dog. Eventually, Bart sets things right by breaking into Mr. Mitchell’s home and stealing his dog back. Bonus points to the writers for mentioning my hometown’s famous smoked salmon.

Episode 174

The Old Man and the Lisa

Lachlan Irvine (@lirvine97)

When Mr. Burns loses his entire fortune thanks to poor business decisions, he enlists Lisa to help him get it back. This episode sees Lisa attempt to teach Mr. Burns the foreign concept of recycling, Mr. Burns’ failed attempt to do Smithers’ grocery shopping, and the opening of the Lil’ Lisa Recycling Plant, where the main export is slurry made out of "100 percent recycled animals". Former pro wrestler Bret Hart also makes a cameo. It’s a somewhat weird episode with some great jokes about the world of recycling, plus a great moment where Mr. Burns is sent to the retirement home by grocery store clerks.

Episode 175

In Marge We Trust

Drew Troutner (@drewsky5)

Religion has always played in important role in the lives of the Simpsons. Although they moan and complain about church, they attend faithfully (minus episodes such as "Homer the Heretic"). Rev. Lovejoy's apathy shows that dealing with people's (Flanders) problems can grate on you after time. It takes an incident with bloodthirsty baboons to help rejuvenate his will to be a shepherd to his flock.

But come on, the real reason this episode is amazing is because of Mr. Sparkle. The parody of Japanese TV and culture is the pinnacle of satire (followed closely by SNL's Japanese gameshow featuring Chris Farley and Mike Meyers,).

Episode 176

Homer's Enemy

Drew Troutner (@drewsky5)

This episode is so great because it is all too relatable to all of us. At some time we may feel like we are Frank Grimes– slaving away while we are constantly getting shown up by the Homers of the world.

Bill Oakley, a longtime producer of the show, tweeted, "I think we all know someone like Frank Grimes who, although he is right, is just no fun to be around." You want to have sympathy for Grimey (you really do!), but he's just so blasted unlikable.

Homer's incredible achievements understandably drive Grimey nuts until he kills himself. Everyone's love for Homer's inanity even overshadows Grimey's funeral. He just couldn't win.

Episode 178

The Secret War of Lisa Simpson

Eden Rohatensky (@edenthecat)

After Bart causes city-wide havoc by dixie-chaining megaphones during a fieldtrip to the police station, his parents conclude that he is lacking in discipline and decide to send him to military school.

Frustrated with Springfield Elementary’s inability to challenge her, Lisa decides that she wants to attend the more academically-profound military school with her brother. Lisa’s experience at the all-boys school can likely be empathized with by many women. She’s hazed, bullied, and her brother will not stand up for her for fear of receiving the same treatment. In the end, Lisa pulls through and earns her second-grade medal and the support of her brother.

You. Can. Do. It. Lisa.

Season 9

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Episode 179

The City of New York Vs. Homer Simpson

Manuel Aragon (@Spacejunc)

Barney, forced to play designated driver for the gang at Moe's, ends up in NYC, where he abandons Homer's car. Whether you love or hate NYC, there's something here for you: Little Italy, The Statue of Liberty and Alfred E. Neumann. The Simpsons capture the absurdity of traveling to a brand new destination with loved ones. It might not be fun, it might not be truly exciting, but it's a shared experience that all look back upon fondly. Unless you're Homer and you've been scarred by CHUDs.

Episode 180

The Principal and the Pauper

Manuel Aragon (@Spacejunc)

Armin Tamzarian meet Dick Whitman. What defines a man: name or experiences? Principal Seymour Skinner is revealed as an impostor and the town wrestles with the issue of identify(long before Mad Men tackled the same issue). For over twenty years, Armin Tamzarian assumed Skinner's identity. When OG Skinner returns, Springfield must figure out was it the name Seymour Skinner that they liked or the actions of Tamzarian. In the end, experiences top name alone, and Impostor Seymour Skinner becomes Seymour Skinner. A true classic.

Episode 181

Lisa's Sax

Nicole Scola (@NicoleLouiseS)

Another walk down memory lane for the Simpsons clan as we find out the story behind how Lisa got her sax. While the timeline of events in the episode doesn’t totally match up with other flashbacks, its easy to overlook that, as its an episode thats not only funny, but has a lot of heart.

While Bart struggles with his first days in kindergarten, Homer and Marge struggle to give Lisa the education they thinks she deserves. During the episode Bart discovers the art of fart noises and his signature catch phrase "Eat My Shorts" (much to the enjoyment of adorable little Milhouse), and Homer once again puts the happiness of his children first. Its not very often in the newer episodes that you see Homer as a great father, now he is more of a bumbling idiot, so when you see the inscription on Lisa’s Sax ("Dear Lisa, May Your New Saxophone Bring You Many Years Of D'oh!") you remember that this show once had heart.

Episode 182

Treehouse of Horror VIII

Jeff H. (@jeffunscripted)

Segment 1: Homer checks out bomb shelters and while he's in one, France launched a nuclear attack on the US. Everyone turns into mutants except for the Simpsons, who were shielded by the lead in the paint of their house.

Segment 2: After buying a teleportation device from Professor Frink's yard sale, Bart switches bodies with a fly. The family adopts the fly thinking its' Bart until Lisa is able to reverse the situation.

Segment 3: Colonial Mayor Quimby burns 3 witches at the stake. The town accuses Marge of being a witch. It turns out that she actually is a witch. Marge and her sisters scare people into giving them food, which is how Halloween started.

Episode 183

The Cartridge Family

Clinton Kopotic (@clintonkopotic)

Tackling the social issue of gun control, this episode covers a lot of ground with Homer's need to protect his family due to the riots started by the very boring soccer match between Mexico and Portugal. With Homer's unique ability to cover the fears (inappropriate motivations, questionable background check, use as an everyday tool) and hopes (constitutional right, stand up to a thief in a hold up) of American's. The scene where Homer is trying to put the safety on the gun at the dinner table starts the real heart of the episode: will Homer choose his family over guns?

Episode 184

Bart Star

Clinton Kopotic (@clintonkopotic)

What a great articulation of the father-son relationship through Springfield's children joining peewee football to help fight obesity. With Homer ridiculing Flanders as a bad coach, he becomes the coach and takes favoring Bart to the extreme and quick downfall of the team. Through the miracle of Joe Namath's PSA of the dangers of vapor lock, cameo's from the King of the Hill characters, a prophetic Cat Fight arcade game for the reality shows to come, and Homer realizing the mistakes he was making with his relationship with Bart, he correctly lets Bart take the fall for Nelson's crimes.

Episode 185

The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons

Dan Vujcich

One of the key things that The Simpsons gets right is a perfect balance between the realistic and the outlandish. Take this episode, "The Two MRs Nahasapemapetalon’s" for example. It’s a love story in the most traditional sense, with cultural and modern views clashing, family obligations and a feel good ending.

Additionally there is more than enough craziness and trademark Simpsons humor to keep us from being bored, case in point the subplot story of Homer hiding out in the rest home with Grandpa Simpson, and loving every aspect of it.

Overall the episode is a solid effort from the writers, but probably not going to appear on many people’s "Top 20 Episode" lists.

Episode 186

Lisa the Skeptic

Dan Vujcich

There are only two Simpsons episodes I can actually remember watching when they were first aired: ‘Who Shot Mr Burns’, and ‘Lisa the Sceptic’.

The promotional advertisements for this episode gave us brief glimpses of the angel that Lisa uncovers while on a school field trip, and enough soundbites and other teasers to get us interested (anyone remember hearing a booming voice say "The End Will Come at Sundown…"?) and then the episode itself does an excellent job of drawing out the suspense.

"Lisa" episodes can tend to be weak, but Angel glow sticks, Homer ‘winning’ a boat, science vs religion, and a twist ending all come together to make this episode one of the best of Season 9.

Episode 187

Realty Bites

Cory Anotado (@pacdude)

Realty Bites is an episode of beginnings and ends. Beginnings include the introduction of the hapless employee Gil, and ends include the last appearance of Phil Hartman as Lionel Hutz. Marge's various forays into employment are generally successful, but when it comes to the cutthroat world of real estate, Marge doesn't have the seemingly-necessary trait of being dishonest in order to succeed. Marge's morality is strong in this episode, and you feel sorry for her when everything comes crashing down—literally. Homer's b-story of buying a hot rod is silly but ties the episode together cleverly in the end.

Episode 189

All Singing All Dancing

Lucas Thomas (@pensivedumpling)

Alas, All Singing All Dancing is a musical clip show, albeit with some new content. And while "singing is the lowest form of communication" (thank you Homer for speaking for the audience), somehow the songs begin to weave their old magic into what would otherwise be a lazy clip show. You will find yourself first hating the songs, then tolerating them, then remembering how great they are, especially as the series progressed. While the B-Sharps and Maison Derrière songs aren’t the catchiest, it’s hard not to sing along with Mr. Burns "See My Vest!" or the Stonecutters "We Do!"

Episode 190

Bart Carny

Lucas Thomas (@pensivedumpling)

Homer and Bart head to the carnival (Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!) and get scammed by carnies Cooder and Spud at a ring toss game. But when Bart wrecks Hitler’s car, they suddenly find themselves working at the carnival to pay off the damages. After failing to bribe Chief Wiggum, the ring toss game is shut down and Homer invites Cooder and Spud to live in their house, only to have the carnies claim it as their own. In a rare moment of genius, Homer cons them out of the house with a ring toss game of his own.

Episode 191

Joy of Sect

Adam Wolinsky (@adamwol)

I was sitting in my dark and empty apartment in the early morning hours. As I waited for my chance to review a cartoon I first watched in 1995, it suddenly dawned on me just how meaningless my life truly was. Then I saw him: The Leader.

If anybody needs me, I can be reached at the Movementarian Compound where I will be working for the next 10 trillion years.

Episode 192

Das Bus

Adam Wolinsky (@adamwol)

A wayward grapefruit sends the Springfield Elementary bus hurtling towards a desert island/literary metaphor.

This episode is overall pretty solid. That said, it clearly came at a point in the series where the (relative) realism of early episodes was increasingly done away with.

Highlights:

- Ralph singing Oh Canada! (I'm Canadian, so there’s a bias)
- Otto's poorly chosen cassette tape
- The carefree tone in which Otto's rescuers discuss his slavery in a fish cannery
- "I'm so hungry I could eat at Arby's." I first heard this joke nearly 20 years ago. Still haven't eaten there.

Episode 193

The Last Temptation Of Krust

Josh Hockin (@joshhockin)

Krusty is confronted with how much he has sold out after bombing after a comedy festival hosted by Jay Leno (and a bunch of other unnecessary celebrity cameos). At a press conference to announce his retirement, some of his sarcastic quips land with the audience and he immediately reinvents himself as a sarcastic Bill Hicks, Lewis Black, George Carlin type of comedian. This earns him credibility, which a couple of executives think will help him sell their new SUV. Unsurprisingly this works, and we're treated to a fantastic commercial for the gigantic Canyonero SUV. Unexplained fires are a matter for the courts! Canyonero!

Episode 194

Dumbbell Indemnity

Josh Hockin (@joshhockin)

Evidently Moe Szyzlak is unattractive and Homer decides to find him a girlfriend at someplace dark, Stu's Disco. After being fooled by a Bacardi sales rep, Moe is dejected and decides to leave. Outside, a woman selling flowers finds him charming. They begin to date, but Moe quickly runs out of money. He asks Homer to "steal" his car and destroy it so that he can get a $5000 claim. Distracted by "Hail to the Chimp," Homer messes up and ends up in jail. Too happy with his relationship to admit his complicity, Moe decides to go to Hawaii with his girlfriend. Confronted first by Homer's "ghost," and then a fugitive corporeal Homer, Moe's ends up burning to the ground. Fortunately, Barney was in the men's rooms and saves the kegs of beer and (eventually) Homer and Moe's unconscious bodies before rolling off the screen without his heroism ever acknowledged. We know what you did, though, Mr. Gumble. We'll never forget.

Episode 195

Lisa the Simpson

Ryan Teeples (@sportsguyutah)

This episode is a good representation of the season the Simpsons began its move from Great-to-good. With a fairly contrived plot and limited laughs, re-watching this ep was like reliving the loss of an old friend. The opening segment is full of great lines. But from there it tails off like Ol' Gil's career. Don't get me wrong, it's still funny. Just not the amazing work most of the previous 6 seasons had been.One thing the episode does well like classic Simpsons, however, is pay homage to movies and TV shows. From Lisa's recording a journal of her descent into stupidity a la "Flowers for Algernon" to the showing of the House of Usher falling, there are the high-brow references fans of the show have come to love. But overall, the episode is pretty "meh." However, Mrs. Krabapple's line to Ralph regarding his bloody bag attracting flies is one for the ages: "DONT open it, Ralph. I'll just give you a C-minus."

Episode 196

This Little Wiggy

Ryan Teeples (@sportsguyutah)

What struck me first in this episode was the appearance of Troy McClure. I had to check to see if this was his swan song, but it turns out it's his second to last show. His line this time: "You may remember me from such automated information kiosks as "Welcome to Springfield Airport", and "Where's Nordstrom?" Not the hilarity of Troy we were used to, but amusing.

I was also surprised to see so many low-brow jokes. Jokes about mooning, erections, sperm, and boogers make appearances, where in the past would have been jokes about Gore Vidal's sexuality. Speaking of which, when playing hide-and-seek, Ralph was found "in the closet." Just saying.

But the best line from this is pretty obvious. Another epic Ralphism: "That’s where I saw the leprechaun. He told me to burn things."

Episode 197

Simpson Tide

Theodor Trampe (@TheoTrampe)

Homer is fired from the power plant after setting the whole place on fire in an effort to supersize a donut using the reactor. Homer attempts to avoid blame by claiming it’s his first day, but Smithers informs Mr. Burns that Homer has worked at the power plant for over ten years.

Unemployed, Homer sees an advertisement for the Naval Reserve and decides to enlist with Moe, Barney, and Apu. The crew is stationed on a nuclear submarine. Somehow, Homer finds himself in command of the submarine and sparks an international conflict by leading the submarine into Russian waters. Bringing the episode full-circle, Homer escapes blame by claiming that it’s only his first day.

Episode 198

The Trouble with Trillions

Theodor Trampe (@TheoTrampe)

In a rush to complete his taxes, Homer fills in a lot of inaccurate information such as Bart being a Vietnam War veteran and Maggie "being seven people."

Homer is audited by the IRS and to avoid prison becomes an undercover informant. His primary mission is to find out what Mr. Burns did with a trillion-dollar bill he was supposed to deliver to Europe after WW2. Homer discovers that Mr. Burns kept the bill for himself due to his distaste for excessive government spending. Realizing that he dislikes the government as well, Homer helps Mr. Burns flee to Cuba with the intention to buy the island using the bill. Their plans are ruined when Castro simply takes the money from Burns. The episode ends with Homer, Smithers, and Mr. Burns floating on a raft somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean.

Episode 199

Girly Edition

Andrew Mancini

In order to avoid the wrath of the FCC, a TV executive (later known as Lindsey Neagle) convinces Krusty to add ten minutes of educational content to his show. The resulting segment – "Kidz News" with Lisa – is a dud until Bart is named co-anchor. Despite a few inspired moments involving Homer and his helper monkey ("Pray for Mojo"), the episode generally falls flat. Lisa is too smug to root for and Bart is too sympathetic to loathe. Those seeking a "Broadcast News" parody should look elsewhere.

Note: This episode marks the first appearance of "Crazy Cat Lady" Eleanor Abernathy.

Episode 200

Trash of the Titans

Andrew Mancini

Homer becomes Springfield’s Sanitation Commissioner, much to the chagrin of his predecessor, Ray Patterson (Steve Martin). He implements one bad idea after another, eventually forcing Mayor Quimby to move the entire town five miles down the road. While far terrible, the strung together plot and needless, albeit fun, U2 cameo drags this episode down. The real highlight is "The Candy Man" parody "The Garbage Man." Skip the episode and listen to the song a few times instead.

Note: "Trash of the Titans" was the show’s 200th episode. It also won the Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program in 1998.

Episode 201

King of the Hill

Brycen Beck (@brycenbeck)

King of writers, John Swartzwelder, uses his talents accordingly in this season nine episode. It’s an amusing adventure, about an unclimbable mountain, and a beefed-up Homer’s attempt to surmount the looming Murderhorn Mountain to impress Bart. The plot is decidedly one of the weaker and more ridiculous in season nine. The episode includes great visual gags of the increasingly higher peaks, the hilarious ingredients in Power Sauce bars (apple cores and Chinese newspapers). It also contains one of the greatest dream sequences in the style of Land of Chocolate, which comically transitions into Homer sliding down the mountainside. Hill-top hilarity!

Episode 202

Lost Our Lisa

Brycen Beck (@brycenbeck)

In this season nine gem, we see a Lisa-centric episode, with an antic-riddled secondary story involving Bart gluing a series of facial fixtures (literally!) onto his person. Lisa is looking to check out the orb of Isis (not that ISIS) at the Springsonian Museum before it leaves town forever. The beauty of this episode lies with the persistent nature of Lisa, despite the obstacles in her way, and the relationship between Homer and Lisa. It ends with one of the sweetest and most sentimental endings in Simpson’s history, and remains the only Simpsons episode that has made me tear up.

Season 10

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Episode 204

Lard of the Dance

Julio Angel Ortiz

An episode that gives us the phrase "Hog anus" can’t be all bad, right? Lisa’s early life crisis thanks to the arrival of a rich and refined new classmate just isn’t that interesting. The point of her character is being smarter than just about everyone else on the show and she’s the moral center of most issues. In a show that features characters that never grow and change, casting a light on this very issue makes the story all the more average. Even Homer’s bumbling "Get Rich" feels forced. This was a clunky way to start the tenth season.

Episode 205

"The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace"

Chris Morin (@chrixmorix)

Homer, upon finding out that he has hit the midpoint of his life without accomplishing anything of note, sinks into depression. Even a surprise cameo from KITT, the benevolent robot car from ‘80s sitcom Knight Rider, is unable to pull him from his funk. However, upon discovering the many accomplishments of Thomas Edison, Homer’s zest for life is renewed as he embarks on a career as an inventor. The comedic highlights are Homer’s inventions, such as the hamburger earmuffs and an electric hammer, but the recliner toilet idea might actually be worth revisiting in real life.

Episode 206

"Bart the Mother"

Chris Morin (@chrixmorix)

Poverty-plagued bully Nelson Muntz wins a pellet gun at a Family Fun Center, setting of a chain of events that ends with Bart accidentally shooting a mother bird. The Simpsons family ends up caring for the orphan eggs, which hatch and reveal predatory Bolivian tree lizards. A high point of the season, the episode is unfortunately marred in tragedy as it is the final appearance of comedic genius Phil Hartman as Troy McClure, who you may remember from some of the best moments of The Simpsons ever.

Episode 207

Treehouse of Horror IX

Nathan Cykiert (@nathancykiert)

This is one of my absolute favorite Treehouse of Horror episodes because it has a little bit of everyone in it; even Poochie makes a brief cameo. The first story, about Homer receiving a haunted hair transplant has some classic Chief Wiggum moments. The second story, involving Bart and Lisa getting sucked into their TV is basically one long Itchy and Scratchy episode and who doesn’t love those two? The third story about the family discovering Maggie is an alien has the classic alien pick-up line, "You look lovely this evening. Have you decreased in mass?"

Episode 208

When You Dish Upon a Star

Nathan Cykiert (@nathancykiert)

Alec Baldwin, Kim Basinger, and Ron Howard all make guest appearances in this rather boring episode. Ok, I’ll admit I was pretty tired when I watched it, but that doesn’t change the fact that Kim Basinger was just not good in this. I also prefer episodes that feature an eclectic mix of Springfield’s finest and this was an all-Homer episode. Maybe I’m being too hard. I mean, I definitely had a good laugh when Homer parked his car over Flanders head, but I didn’t have as much fun watching this as I did the previous episode. Oh well. It’s only 1 of over 550 episodes.

Episode 209

Doh-in In The Wind

Jeff H. (@jeffunscripted)

Mr. Burns, he decides to shoot a recruitment commercial for new capable talent, leading Homer to join SAG. He finds out that he doesn't know what the J in his middle name stands for. Homer and Grandpa go on a trip to the hippie commune Groovy Grove, where his mother used to hang out, to seek out his name. Homer find out his middle name is Jay & decides to become a hippie but ruing the Groves organic juice product. After the hippies kick out Homer, he takes matter into his own hands, harvesting and bottling a whole new set of juice...with their "special ingredient" that turns out to be peyote. The town hallucinates, including Grandpa and Jasper turning into Beavis and Butthead. Homer gets shot with a Daisy.

Episode 210

Lisa Gets An 'A'

Nicole Scola (@NicoleLouiseS)

The main plot involves Lisa cheating on a test. While the start of this plot really works, (Lisa being enchanted by the magical pull of a video game and the aftermath of the cheating), once she reveals the truth to Skinner, it seems to fall apart. Its no longer an episode about Lisa and her dealing with what she had done (like in "Lisa's Rival") but rather Lisa vs Skinner, as he wants her to keep the cheating a secret so the school can receive grant money. So in the end, when she finally admits to everyone that she did in fact cheat, the confession feels a bit hollow.

The sub story of Homer and Pinchy the lobster seemed mostly pointless but tolerable. Homer, once the man trying to be a good father, is now the constant bumbling fool…but he is now a fool with a pet lobster.

Overall, not an amazing episode, but it does give us more great Ralph lines ("Hi Super Nintendo Chalmers" "I’m learn-ding!")

Episode 211

"Homer Simpson in: 'Kidney Trouble'"

Sean O'Kane (@sokane1)

A dad needs a kidney transplant from a son who waffles between willing and unwilling, but eventually gets without the son’s consent. It’s not *totally* the same dramatic story arc LOST would use almost a decade later, but this sweet episode of The Simpsons mostly jests while still making time to end on a note of commentary. "You've shortened your life significantly so someone else can have a slight extension of theirs," Marge says to Homer as the episode ends, showing hints of the show’s sometimes-practiced medicine-in-the-ice-cream technique.

Before all that, the family’s madcap outing to a robot-filled ghost town in disrepair named Bloodbath Gulch demonstrates one of the biggest formats that Family Guy and its ilk lifted from Groening: an episode might get 5-10 minutes in before you really find out what it’s "about."

Episode 212

"Mayored to the Mob"

Sean O'Kane (@sokane1)

This episode, its type and era all represent "peak" Simpsons for me. It swiftly skewers Titanic after the opening credits (a year after its release), and introduces one of the more memorable Springfield pastimes with the Bi-Mon-Sci-Fi-Con. Smart, subtle references to Battlestar Galactica, Dr. Who, and a joke about the general lack of public interest in NASA heroes like Neil Armstrong round out Springfield’s send-up of comic conventions before introducing a stellar guest appearance by a still-desperate-to-escape-Star-Wars Mark Hamill (both in real life and in the show) – and that’s all before the real plot thickens.

Homer’s bumbling attempt – what he does best – at being Mayor Quimby’s new bodyguard is a wonderful excuse to involve Fat Tony and the Springfield Mafia before paying off all sorts of jokes when the episode concludes.

Episode 213

Viva Ned Flanders

Yanksfanpaul (@yaanksfanpaul)

The title of this episode is in reference to the Elvis movie Viva Las Vegas. In this episode we learn that Ned is actually 60 years old and regretting that he has lead an uneventful life so he asks Homer to teach him how to be adventurous. Homer takes Ned to Las Vegas where Homer gets Ned so drunk they find out when they wake up the next morning that they married two cocktail waitresses. When they try to escape the new wives they are caught by the Moody Blues and hotel security and thrown out of Nevada.

Episode 214

Wild Barts Can't Be Broken

Yanksfanpaul (@yaanksfanpaul)

Homer, Lenny, Carl and Barney get drunk after the Isotopes win the baseball championship and end up vandalizing Springfield elementary school. The next day the police blame the kids for the vandalism and enforce a curfew on the kids. To get even, the kids swipe some radio gear and broadcast the townspeople's deep secrets over the airwaves (mostly about Homer). When the adults find out where the kids are they bust them which leads to an argument that turns into a song. This wakes up and angers the elderly who end up passing a law to keep the adults inside.

Episode 215

Sunday, Cruddy Sunday

Greg Spenser (@pixelatedsoul)

Homer gets a chance to take a bunch of his friends from Springfield, and of course Bart, to the Super Bowl and he can't turn it down. In the contrasting B-Storyline, Marge and Lisa fight boredom by painting eggs. 'Sunday' has one of the most infamous jokes in Simpsons history. The fake ad involving the Catholic church is one of the standout gags here. Fortunately, FXX let it air uncut. Though the episode is fun, you can't accuse the story of having depth. Clearly the episode was written with the purpose of filling the list of guest stars.

Episode 216

Homer to the Max

Greg Spenser (@pixelatedsoul)

A popular mid-season replacement TV show has an idiotic character named Homer Simpson, making Homer the laughingstock of Springfield. So he changes his name to Max Powers. This episode has it's share of classic Ho- Max Power quotes, but clearly this is one of many where the first two acts are much stronger than the third. It's like the writers wanted the episode to go a certain place, but took too long to get there. But if you love Homer and his antics, there's plenty to laugh at here, even in the uneven third act.

Episode 217

I'm With Cupid

Vijith Assar (@vijithassar)

Apu neglects his family due to a hectic work schedule and then tries to make it up to his wife with a full week of grand romantic overtures, enraging the husbands of Springfield who now look like doofuses comparatively, on top of being doofuses objectively. It's a promising setup, but could stand to spend more time on his ridiculous gifts, because otherwise everything proceeds exactly as you might imagine: Homer stumbling into a conciliatory gesture that accidentally appears heartfelt, followed by Marge squealing "oh, Homie!" and making a G-rated sexual joke. How many times did they try to pull off this same ending? Who's the doofus now?

Episode 218

Marge Simpson in: "Screaming Yellow Honkers"

Vijith Assar (@vijithassar)

For once, the high point of the episode belongs to the elder Wiggum rather than his son: "Isn't there anybody who can round up these thunder lizards?" exclaims the flustered police chief, who has no idea what to call the animals stampeding across town. (They're rhinos.) The other furious creature on the warpath – likewise a mammal, just to be clear – is Marge, suddenly filled with road rage after Homer buys her a new car using a big stash of money never mentioned before or since. I think she eventually saves the day by crashing the car into one of the rhinos or something, but I don't really remember because I wandered off looking for snacks.

Episode 219

Make Room for Lisa

Jack Ortner (@LivermoreJack)

This is one of the softer episodes of the series that really highlights Homer and Lisa's relationship. The episode places them in a pretty silly situation in sensory deprivation tanks (a great jab at late '90s new age trends) and harkens back to the episodes where Homer was a little more human and just wants to be a great dad. There are some great one-liners in this one too (my personal favorite being, "If it doesn’t have Siamese twins in a jar, it is not a fair"). Overall, a solid outing by the Simpsons clan, especially for season 10.

Episode 220

Maximum Homerdrive

Jack Ortner (@LivermoreJack)

A very middle-of-the-road episode. It's by no means bad, but nothing makes it great. Homer takes on another career as a truck driver, this time with Bart, and we get to watch Marge and Lisa talk about a doorbell for fifteen minutes. This one is chock-full of references to '70s culture and it makes the whole episode feel a little retro. A totally unexceptional episode, but good enough to watch the rerun when it's on.

Fun Fact: This episode originally aired on the same night as the series premiere of Matt Groening's other series, Futurama.

Episode 222

Mom and Pop Art

Cory Anotado (@pacdude)

It took four years of art school to fully understand the jokes, gags and bigger message of Mom and Pop Art. Homer unwittingly becomes an artist after a failed attempt to build a barbecue, but when art critics view his later works as uninspired, he takes a grander approach, turning Springfield into art itself. Modern art fans will appreciate Jasper Johns' cameo as a mooching klepto, and the general mockery of found artists as a whole. In spite of all this, the episode drags on as Marge's jealousy over Homer's newfound artistic fame leads mostly nowhere. Art is, surprisingly, hard.

Episode 223

The Old Man and the 'C' Student

Nick Felker (@HandNF)

Bart's racial stereotyping gets him into trouble. So, Bart must work at the Springfield Retirement Home. This part of the story alludes to 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' and Chief does cameo, but disappointingly only as another racial stereotype..

The episode starts out strong, but I don't think the main plot has any closure. It's just a return to normal. Homer's subplot is enjoyable and I do like how it ties in with the main plot at the end.

Here's my selfie that was retweeted by the official marathon account.

Episode 224

Monty Can't Buy Me Love

Nick Felker (@HandNF)

The episode starts with some social commentary about the people adoring the rich due to small acts of philanthropy. Mr. Burns wants to achieve the same popularity. With Homer, they go on a PR campaign with several ideas that fail humorously in execution.

They go to Scotland, the home of Groundskeeper Willie, to find the Loch Ness monster. After finding a huge monster in a shallow loch, they transport it via helicopter which I thought was unrealistic.

Overall, there are some funny one-liners in the episode and it ended in a silly, "Simpsons"-way.

Episode 225

They Saved Lisa's Brain

Chris Wayne (@killerpollo)

The episode begins like many other episodes of the Simpsons: a random event that somehow triggers the central plot of the episode. It is pleasing to see that despite the episode aired in 1999, is perfectly applicable to the reality of society today in which it gives an overwhelming importance to things that are not transcendent and ignore those that do. This is an episode where Lisa is the main character which results in a not so funny episode (compared to others) and the execution of it is not very solid either. The subplot of Homer and the photo shoot is weak to say the least. Fortunately the brilliance of the writers of the Simpsons is reflected at the end of the episode with the inclusion of Stephen Hawking with some really funny dialogues that save the episode.

Episode 226

Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo

Chris Wayne (@killerpollo)

In this episode the family travels to Tokyo in hopes of a memorable vacation, instead, Homer ruin the trip for everyone.

This episode takes place under the premise that the family was stripped of their savings for holidays and are forced to save the maximum in order to travel on vacation. The episode unfolds intelligently and naturally and as is common, episodes of family vacation work very well, with each of the members bringing their personality to the episode. References ranging from the Nintendo Game Boy, Pokemon, technology, Godzilla and odd Japanese TV contests are displayed effectively as well as the Japanese culture.

Definitely a memorable episode (although not the best) and just behind a couple of episodes about vacation.

Season 11

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Episode 229

Guess Who’s Coming to Criticize Dinner?

Cristen Jones (@thecristen)

In this episode, Homer lands himself a sweet gig as a food critic - however, he nearly gets his just deserts as he manages to anger every food purveyor in Springfield. The chefs of the various cuisines of Springfield are played to their full stereotypes as they plot to give Homer his comeuppance - the Italian chef attacks him with a knife, the French chef is rude, the Japanese chef considers banning him from his restaurant too impolite (and suggests killing him instead).

Could an eclair with 25 pounds of butter per square inch and over one million calories actually kill?

Episode 230

Treehouse of Horror X

Cristen Jones (@thecristen)

Again, the three stories in the Treehouse of Horror episode follow no pattern. The first clip plays out the show’s ever-present desire to see Ned Flanders dead, but has a twist at the end. In the last clip, Homer destroys the Earth after not prepping the power plant for Y2K. Words cannot express the hilarity of watching Y2K-afflicted devices wreck the town - the fridge chucking ice cube! The traffic lights shooting lasers! The waffle iron biting! Lucy Lawless’s cameo steals the show in the second clip, where she is kidnapped by the Comic Book Guy and rescued by Bart and Lisa.

"Wait a minute -- Xena can't fly."

"I told you, I'm not Xena. I'm Lucy Lawless."

"Oh."

Episode 233

Eight Misbehavin’

Chris Southcott (@cjschris)

"Eight Misbehavin'" is a relatively rare episode, in that its plot has lasting consequences. The premise is simple: Apu, and his wife Manjula, decide to have kids, which, thanks to a mixture of ‘fertility drugs’, soon equals octuplets. The story is interesting in its use of characters outside of the Simpson family, utilising them to recreate a traditional sitcom scenario: newborn baby. The episode has a weak beginning, relying on safe jokes, particularly Homer’s legacy as a ‘moron’, with some unnatural character traits as well as a few glaring "we-know-this-is-funny-because-Homer" gags. This extends to the whole Simpsons family. Thankfully this reliance does subside with the Nahasapeemapetilon’s introduction. The ambitious balance of laughs with narrative means flaws exist, though are easily justified by a consistent stream of lol moments. The incongruent inclusion of The Simpson family in a lot of scenes can feel forced though. The conclusion of the episode, in keeping with its overall tone, is wacky, with the children sold to a zoo to perform in a variety show. The episode finishes with a great pre-credit scene, though still feels loose overall.

Episode 234

Take My Wife, Sleaze

Chris Southcott (@cjschris)

Homer wins a motorcycle, Bart teaches him to ride it in a brilliant scene, and Homer then forms a gang with Moe, Lenny, Karl, and Ned on a pushbike. In it’s first act, "Take My Wife, Sleaze" has just the right mix of great gags and a strong use of characters, with a fast pace and perfect momentum. The episode does start to fray with the introduction of a rival gang, who fall in love with Marge as a mother-figure. Jokes featuring the gang can initially fall flat, though they eventually deliver quality laughs. Homer’s attempts to rescue Marge are also a highlight. The episode’s initial act does contrast the slower pace of its conclusion. Overall it could benefit from a more consistant pace, though still features some perfect laughs.

Episode 237

Faith Off

Julia Alexander (@loudmouthjulia)

"Faith Off" may have taken place during one of the most lacklustre seasons Gorening and his team produced, but its satirical take on modern day Americana still holds up more than a decade later. From Homer’s desire to revert back to his college day self –including hazing the famous nerd trio- to Bart’s sudden devotion to a crony (and phoney) religious leader who manages to dazzle with mystical miracles and upbeat dancing numbers, "Faith Off" is still an incredible look at the Midwest American lifestyle.

Episode 238

The Mansion Family

Julia Alexander (@loudmouthjulia)

"The Mansion Family" is still one of the most boring episodes ever created during The Simpson’s long running career. After Mr. Burns wins an award for being the oldest citizen in Springfield, he jets off to the Mayo Clinic to check in on his health, leaving the worst employee imaginable to take care of his house while gone. Homer, whose tastes are far richer than we’ve given him credit for, immediately falls in love with the lavish billionaire lifestyle. The problem is that nothing actually happens in this episode. Mr. Burns goes away, is told he should be dead despite his feeling wonderful, comes back, and evicts Homer from his American dream fantasy. The only moment worth watching is Homer reacting to Marge’s insufferable moment of morality, where he breaks down crying, desperately yelling how he wants to be rich.

Episode 239

Saddlesore Galactica

Aramide Gbadamosi (@barack_orama)

Considering that this was probably the first full Simpsons episode I've ever watched, I enjoyed it a lot. Homer brings home a horse and tries to find something to do with it, eventually settling on competitive horse racing. Naturally, the horse loses its debut race, due to a combination of a lack of training and its nervousness. I'll leave the ending out, but suffice it to say Cake's classic "Going the Distance" is used. Great episode.

Episode 240

Alone Again, Natura-diddily

Aramide Gbadamosi (@barack_orama)

This episode starts with the Simpson family traveling to a bird reserve (that was converted into a NASCAR track because why not). Due to Homer's selfish behavior, Maude (Flanders' wife) ends up falling to her death. The second half shows Ned's attempts to grieve for his wife and get on with his life, mostly unsuccessfully. But when Ned turns back to god in the last few minutes, he finds peace and a new love interest. This episode was great because it rewarded Ned for his faith in times of personal turmoil.

Episode 241

Missionary: Impossible

Julia Alexander (@loudmouthjulia)

"Save me Jebus!" One of the most iconic quotes from The Simpsons came to life during the eleventh season’s best episode, "Missionary: Impossible." After donating $10,000 to PBS that Homer simply doesn’t have, he’s jetted off to Micronesia as a missionary by Reverend Lovejoy. It was a return to intelligent, thought provoking humor as Homer inflicts his typical American culture (casinos, booze, and gluttonous desires) upon a community that didn’t ask for it. The result? A new crop of gambling addicts and resentful alcoholics. Airing between 1999 and 2000, it was the best pre-Bush critical foreshadowing of the Iraq war on television.

Episode 242

Pygmoelian

Julia Alexander (@loudmouthjulia)

"Pygmoelian" is an interesting concept for an episode that falls flat due to the lack of comedy interjected. After Moe discovers – and reconciles – that he is ugly, the bartender decides to get plastic surgery to become a new, "better" man. Based on Pygmalion, the Greek sculptor who fell in love with a statue he carved of himself, the episode is a lesson in loving the person you are, not the person you see reflected. Chalk full of less than subtle metaphors, it feels more like a PBS after school special than an episode of a sitcom. The walls literally come crashing down on Moe at the end, causing him to face his reality. We get it Groening, we get it.

Episode 243

Bart the the Future

Darren Isomoto (@therealiso)

Future episodes offer the creative freedom and imagination that don’t alter the current series timeline. As we’d expect, 30 years into the future see’s Bart as a beer-drinking slacker trying to launch a music career with Lisa being President of the US." Despite the obvious career differences, Bart doesn’t seem to mind his status and even proves to be helpful to Lisa’s relations with creditor nations. It’s nice to see this dynamic despite their differences. The best line came at the end of the episode where present-day Bart describes his vision of the future seeing him owning his own rock band and moped while Lisa just has, "some government job."

Episode 244

Days of Wine and D'oh'ses

Darren Isomoto (@therealiso)

It’s always nice to see an episode focus on the lesser-known characters of the series with Barney Gumble taking the spotlight on this one. Seeing Barney on the road to sobriety was a drastic yet empowering change that made you really root for a secondary character. Just as entertaining was the way this change affected Homer’s friendship with him. The secondary story involving Bart and Lisa in a photo contest was forgettable. Random funny quip was when Gaga the Teletubby said, "Hurt everyone." It was a very strange sight yet in a way, oddly fitting to the creepiness that is Teletubbies.

Episode 245

Kill the Alligator and Run

Rashaun (@sideshowRaheem)

Homer goes to Spring Break in Florida aka "America’s Wang".

This episode is always cited as one of the worst in the history of the show which is quite surprising considering it was written by John Swartzwelder the most prolific Simpsons writer and the man responsible for some of the best episodes. I have to say I enjoyed it quite a bit. Yes, the narrative is all over the place and the third act is the least funny part but gag for gag Homer's antics on spring break are pretty enjoyable.

Episode 246

Last Tap Dance in Springfield

Rashaun (@sideshowRaheem)

I remember watching "Last Tap Dance in Springfield" when it premiered in Spring of 2000 and from that day on whenever I see anyone tap dance in my head I hear Vicki Valentine voiced by the amazing Tress MacNeille saying "Tappa-tappa-tappa. Tappa-tappa-tappa." The subplot with Bart and Milhouse living in a mall is fun but when it comes down to it Vicki Valentine is the star of this episode for me, almost everything that comes out of her mouth is quotable. It a shame the character only appears in one other episode.

Season 12

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Episode 255

The Great Money Caper

Andru Roysden

The episode opens with an amusing look at a universally shared uncomfortable memory: the time mom had one too many at a family dinner. "That’s no gentleman, that’s my husband".

The main plotline features Bart and Homer carrying out a series of ludicrous grifts that straddle the line between cringe-worthy and hilarious. Their continuing justification of "balancing out the universe" climaxes when they team up with Grandpa to prey on the elderly.

Despite jokes in the conclusion feeling a bit forced, and the plot turning "farfetched, even insulting to our intelligence", bright spots such as Ralph’s cameo tie it together nicely.

Episode 256

Skinner’s Sense of Snow

Andru Roysden)

In this season’s Christmas episode, we dive deeper into the series-arching portrait of Principal Skinner. His actions—guided by Vietnam flashbacks—turn a snow day into Lord of the Flies.

Despite a flat plotline littered with the occasional crotch joke, a series of amusing side gags carry the episode well: ‘Circe de Puree" performers turning into a kite only to be blown into a tree; Homer claiming he wrote "Feel like Makin’ Love" as a tribute to Princess Di; and Millhouse not being able to vandalize the portrait of Taft since he already has a mustache.

Episode 259

Worst Episode Ever

Grant Burkhardt (@grantburkhardt)

I've never before watched the Simpsons. While I'd bet I'm not the only hack week reviewer to share that quality, I'd be surprised if anyone had an inaugural episode as diverse as "Worst Episode Ever." Perhaps it's just typical Simpsons and I don't know it, but Homer got nostalgic, Bart asserted power and an over-sophisticated comic book lover found his One. I believe, stubbornly almost, that everyone has someone, a soulmate, even if it's not young love, and even if it's cynical and depressed; a lover who complements your own darkness. Not everyone's One can be dynamic in a positive way.

Episode 260

Tennis The Menace

Grant Burkhardt (@grantburkhardt)

As someone who writes and thus hates cliches, "Tennis The Menace" struck me with perfect precision. Near the episode's conclusion, the writers slyly picked fun at how we talk about charity ("after all, that's why we're here") and how we interact during sport ("you're going down!" and "we just have to give it our best shot!"). After only watching the Simpsons for an hour, I suppose that's the lure of the show — that the writing is so good, so layered with digs at how we interact, it's hard to stop watching. Turning your brain off to watch the Simpsons obviously does you no good.

Episode 263

Hungry, Hungry Homer

Eric Trinh (@qbnoyouko)

This episode was meh. M-E-H. Meh.

But seriously, the Blockoland segments were enjoyable. I've always liked Bart's "Lego" name drop, which is a shame because Blocko wasn't mentioned once in the recent Lego Simpsons special.

It's actually nice seeing Homer's hospitality as well as resourcefulness, such as the 'I'll be quirky" phonetics and attempt to expose Duff's plan to move the Isotopes. Of course, there's also the hunger strike, which is something you'd never expect Homer to do.

Fair episode. Nice nod to Peanuts and plenty of good jokes overall (love the "Hairy Shearers" one.)

Episode 264

Bye, Bye, Nerdie

Eric Trinh (@qbnoyouko)

The entire sequence with Marge getting the kids to school was fantastic, especially when she ends up racing Otto. Like "Marge on the Lamb" and "Screaming Yellow Honkers," Marge shows her skills behind the wheel.

Pointdextrose was as ridiculous as the solution. It's an interesting bit of Simpsons science, though doesn't explain why Bart gets beat up all the time. Since Lisa's top student in school, I wonder if notifying Skinner would've helped.

Homer's subplot was okay, but nothing interesting, though the nail gun scene was pretty scary.

Fun jokes sprinkled throughout, but overall, episode was average.

Episode 265

Simpson Safari

Aaron Alberico (@aaronalberico)

"Simpson Safari" is about as chaotic as a Simpsons episode gets. After winning an African Safari from a prize in a 30+ year-old box of animal crackers, the Simpsons set off on an adventure that lacks a real plot and is increasingly far-fetched. From the beginning of the episode, absurdity is a common theme. The series takes the lovable family on many trips around the world and they are best enjoyed when a character-driven story line is at their core. While containing some good laughs, it’s unfortunate that "Simpson Safari" falls short.

Episode 266

Trilogy of Error

Aaron Alberico (@aaronalberico)

"Trilogy of Error" overlaps three stories in a Simpsons episode packed with classic gags. Marge cuts off Homer’s thumb and they race against the clock to get it reattached. Lisa’s day begins by rushing to the school science fair after missing the bus. Lastly, Bart has a run in with Chief Wiggum after trying to buy illegal fireworks from mobster Fat Tony. In the end, each story intertwines masterfully. Although Teeny (Krusty’s chain-smoking monkey) may disagree, this episode harkens back to what made the Simpsons great: clever one-liners, multiple thought-out plots, and some Simpsons’ magic.

Episode 267

I'm Goin' to Praiseland

Loren Nelson (@rescuethecows)

Ned discovers his late wife Maude's idea to build a Christian-themed amusement park. Not much to see here: some quasi-religious satire, including some "visions" that end up being the result of a gas leak. There was a cutesy "wrap-up line" by Homer at the end...possibly meant to be ironic? I don't think I even cracked a smile. Even by post-season-ten standards, not great.

Episode 268

Children of a Lesser Clod

Loren Nelson (@rescuethecows)

Homer tears out his ACL and runs a daycare out of his house while he recovers. Bart and Lisa get jealous of the attention! The premise sounds pretty lame but this episode had a few genuine chuckle-out-loud moments (Rainier Wolfcastle hunting people, Ned Flanders' Chris Rock/Christian Rock mixup, the back-and-forth between Kent Brockman and Arnie Pye). The awards show bit was kinda weird, but overall (again post-season-ten standards), mad decent.

Episode 269

Simpsons Tall Tales

Michael B (@therealmickb)

What a way to end the 12th season, with a thud. Simpsons Tall Tales borrows from had been a fairly successful formula of pair a family member with a mythical story. This time we see the Simpsons forced to hop a train to Delaware with a hobo, who graciously offers to tell them tall tales. First we see Homer as a lonely Paul Bunyan, then Lisa a Connie Appleseed and finally Bart & Nelson as Huck & Ton Sawyer. There are laughs, but overall it’s just a little too cute for my taste. Now, on to my sponge bath!

Season 13

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Episode 270

Treehouse of Horror XII

Michael B (@therealmickb)

Thank you World Series for delaying the first airdate of this twelfth Simpson Halloween special. This installment comprised of three short episodes (as usual) "Hex & the City" – Homer is cursed by a Gypsy, "House of Whacks" – Ultrahouse Pierce Brosman is obsessed with Marge and "Wiz Kids" – Bart & Lisa go to wizard school. I had started to despair at the degrading quality of the THoH series, and this episode was no different with the possible exception of House of Whacks, a clever take on a 2001: Space Odyssey. What do I know though? I’m just a boorish American clod!

Episode 275

She of Little Faith

Vpac Shakur

After Homer and Bart accidentally burn down the church, Mr. Burns rebuilds it and runs it like a business. Burns remakes the church into a gaudy, advertising-laden, revenue-generating machine, infuriating Lisa. When she happens upon a Buddhist temple and Richard Gere’s muted cameo, she decides to convert. This is a great episode. Not only does it poke fun at megachurches and "monetization" strategy in general (the latter of which will sound very familiar to anyone who’s taken a business strategy course), but Lisa’s quest for a non-materialistic religion feels especially relevant in today’s complex, consumer-driven world.

Episode 276

Brawl in the Family

Vpac Shakur

This is an interesting episode for two reasons. The first reason is its structure: it has two plots told consecutively, with 60% allocated to the first plot and 40% to the second. The other interesting element is that it’s one of the few episodes with a callback to an earlier episode; in this case, the Vegas wives that Homer and Ned secretly married. While the first half is mildly amusing, the 2nd half is better, though most of the jokes are about the Vegas wives’ trashiness. Overall, not a particularly memorable episode.

Episode 279

Half-Decent Proposal

Keenan Wulff

Episode 171 starts out with Marge’s inability to sleep due to Homer’s snoring. After serving Lisa fried magazine and syrup for breakfast, Marge decides to get help. She eventually finds that one Artie Ziff, with whom Marge had an ill-fated prom date, is now one of the five richest people in the US, having made his money off of a device that turns dial-up beeping into pleasant music. In classic Simpsons fashion, this ultimately leads to Marge agreeing to spend the weekend with Ziff for money, leaving a worrying Homer. At one point, the episode takes on a Back to the Future vibe, and later strands Homer and Lenny on a burning oil rig, which allows for a dramatic climax. The episode suffers from a pacing issue, as it jumps from point to point without leaving much room, but manages to tie its facets together for one last well-timed joke.

Episode 280

The Bart Wants What It Wants

Keenan Wulff

The central problem in this episode revolves around Greta, a private school girl and daughter of famous actor Rainier Wolfcastle of McBain fame. She developed a crush on Bart after he saved her from bullies, and after realizing how oblivious he was to her advances, he breaks up with her and she pairs up with Milhouse in spite. This sets up a conflict between Bart and Milhouse. The episode felt mediocre. It wasn’t boring, but many of the jokes fell flat, and the part with Milhouse seemed pushed. The highlight in this episode was Principal Skinner, who we see performing delightfully inept stand-up comedy.

Episode 281

The Lastest Gun in the West

John (@wohnjalsh)

Time Warner Cable's internet went down for most of their customers. I was one of those customers. My time to shine and show my love for a show that has brought me such joy was nullified. This is what I get for cutting the cable chord. A life full of glitches and errors. Still, I will not be defeated by the need for cable.

Episode 282

The Old Man and the Key

John (@wohnjalsh)

Could you imagine if we all had Googele fiber and we could stream 30 Simpson's episodes at once? Instead I was ruined by an error from an ISP behemoth. I'll never work in this (internet) town again. Well boys, time to get my spit rag out and shine all those shoes, because that's all I'm good for now.

Episode 283

Tales from the Public Domain

Craig (@craiglikessteak)

"Now when people think of wood, they’ll think of Trojans." This episode features Homer telling Bart and Lisa stories from an overdue library book checked out when Bart was a baby called "Classics for Children." Plus, the episode ends with the family dancing to the Ghostbusters theme song. Having never seen this episode or much of the episodes post season nine, I slightly dreaded having to watch and write a review on it. However, it was enjoyable overall and had several laugh out loud moments and lines.

Homer, while crossing the River Styx: Ohhh, this truly is hell!

Marge: *groan* It’s never Joan Van Ark!

Homer: Victory? But we’re French. We don’t even have a word for it.

Marge: It’s easier to chew than that Bambi video.

Bart/Hamlet: You’re not supposed to hear me. It’s a soliloquy.

Krusty/Jester: I think I heard usurper of the throne!

Chief Wiggum with my favorite after being stabbed behind a curtain: I hide behind curtains because I have a fear of being stabbed.
6/10

Episode 284

Blame it on Lisa

Craig (@craiglikessteak)

"Now that’s what I call a moon shot!" The Simpsons go to Brazil to find a lost orphan Lisa had racked up an expensive phone bill sponsoring. While the family searches for the boy, Ronaldo, Homer gets kidnapped. They eventually find Ronaldo, who is now a child actor and offers to pay Homer’s ransom. Bart gets eaten by a snake and copes by dancing Carnival.

Marge: We’ve met you many times, Ms. Nagle. Why do you keep changing jobs?
Ms. Nagle: I’m a sexual predator.
Marge: Oh.

Lisa: The charity sent me this video: Lil Writeoffs.

Homer in a conga line: My hands are on a guy’s ass! Boy this dude must work out!

Marge: Everything here is something!

Kidnapper: We just call them nuts here.

4/10

Episode 287

I Am Furious (Yellow)

Nick Valdez (@Flixist)

It’s really hard to review an episode like this in retrospect. While it was funny in the early 2000s, as it aped the businesses and intellectual properties founded during the booming Internet age, a lot of the gags present here are incredibly dated (Remember how bad it was when they revived the Angry Dad story in a later episode?). But for all of the jokes that don’t work now, there’s one that does: Stan Lee’s guest spot. Making fun of himself here before anywhere else, it’s a fun glimpse into the cartoon he’d become later in life.

Episode 288

The Sweetest Apu

Nick Valdez (@Flixist)

Apu’s suffering has been a running theme throughout the series, and with the series already establishing a precedent for a realistic depiction of marital issues with the VanHoutens, it was inevitable that Apu’s forced marriage to Manjula would fall apart. Luckily for the viewer, it was all part of a well thought out episode. While "The Sweetest Apu" doesn’t have the best jokes (Homer’s backwards shock walk will always make me laugh, however), it’s an episode that reminds us that Springfield is full of people, and not just cartoon antics.

Episode 289

Little Girl in the Big Ten

Nick Valdez (@Flixist)

Lisa episodes are always hit or miss. As she’s becoming more of the moral crutch for her family in later years, she’s lost most of her relatable nature. Part of this is evident with "Big Ten" as Lisa finds solace with people older than her. It’s a story that has been done better before, and really stretches how intelligent Lisa actually is. Stories like this break The Simpsons mold and force you to question why we’ve been stuck in the same status quo this long. If Lisa has a college level education, why is she wasting her (and our) time?

Episode 290

The Frying Game

Nick Valdez (@Flixist)

This episode is random in all the worst ways. Broken into haphazard vignettes, we sadly get glances of better show options not explored. You know how Homer has to work community service? That probably would’ve been a better episode had that been stretched out. The ending is one of the worst in memory as it seemingly yells "Hey, we don’t know how to end this story and we’ve gone too far. It’s really all a joke, haha!" It’s such a copout at the tail end of one of the worst episodes of the season. I mean, "Screamapillar"? Really?

Season 14

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Episode 293

How I Spent My Strummer Vacation

Mat Stevens (@mat_stevens)

Homer’s drunken Taxicab Conversation was a perfect way to start the episode. Even though he’s often less than intelligent and often under the influence, his family recognizes his sacrifice and love, so they send him to Rock and Roll camp to fulfill his fantasy of being a rockstar. The guest stars are great, Mick and Keith have perfect voices for an animated show, and everyone else fits right in (with maybe the exception of Brian Setzer, who’s kind of flat). This is a perfect bottle episode for Homer, who takes every opportunity to be his uninhibited self, and it’s hilarious.

Episode 294

Bart vs. Lisa vs. the Third Grade

Mat Stevens (@mat_stevens)

Bart and Lisa being forced into the same grade is a wonderful idea, but quickly becomes stretched thin as their new class takes a field trip to the state capitol. Instead of focusing on conflicting personalities between Bart and Lisa being in the same class, we’re distracted by cheap gags and weak jokes from a strained side plot. The best part of the episode is the first five minutes with the satellite dish and random tv shows, and you kind of wish the story stayed with that.

Episode 297

The Great Louse Detective

Darren Isomoto (@therealiso)

While trying to figure out Homer's assailant provides an interesting plot, it ultimately falls second to the performance by Kelsey Grammer as Sideshow Bob (arguably one of the series' best guest actors.) As opposed to playing his usually villainous self, this time Sideshow Bob is acting as an ally. This keeps the material fresh and new. Once you've been enthralled with his charisma, you soon find yourself wanting to see more Sideshow Bob scenes than really caring who the assailant is. Finding out it was Grimes Jr. was a nice throwback but underwhelming. At least we're treated to a closing scene featuring another musical performance by Sideshow Bob, which ends it on a high note (pun intended).

Episode 298

Special Edna

Darren Isomoto (@therealiso)

The episode involving Seymour Skinner and Edna Krabappel’s flailing relationship is mostly forgettable. Its few laughs occur mostly happen in the second half when the focus of the episode is shared with the change of setting to Disney World’s EPCOT and Little Richard’s guest performance. The writers did well in satirically portraying EPCOT as clearly sitting in the shadow of the rest of the Orlando Disney Resort. That Enron ride was clever but the most memorable scene happens in the credits where Homer breaks into song and dance that immediately cuts out when he exits the scene. Again, the highlights of the episode were in its Disney satire rather than its plot.

Episode 301

Pray Anything

Greg Garnhart

Well, through a mishap with Verizon and a failure to find the episodes I was reviewing online, I seemed to have ruined my Moement.

However, after looking up the plot, I can conclude that this episode had high potential. Much like throwing darts blindly at a Bart board, I rate this episode 7/10.

Episode 302

Barting Over

Greg Garnhart

Well through a mishap with Verizon and a failure to find the episodes I was reviewing online, I seem to have ruined my Moement.

Luckily, Wikipedia exists and I was able to find the plot with out much difficulty. Some Simpsons episodes seem to hit it out of the park, but this episode is no Homer. 4/10

Episode 307

Scuse' Me While I Miss The Sky

Isaac Peachey (@Thignificent180)

This Episode follwed Lisa on her quest to get the lights turned off at night. This is all due to her new interest in Astronomy. But due to kids stealing Hood ornaments, the lights get turned up to the max. This light not only causes everbody to lose sleep, but it stops Bart from stealing an ornament from Fat Tony's car. Lisa and Bart then team up to turn off the lights. After a sleep deprived homer cuts the power to the city, the kids are chased by an angry mob. They are only saved by a meteor show that the town joins together to watch. Bart even gets his ornament. The episode was mildy funny, and straightfoward.

Episode 308

Three Gays of the Condo

Isaac Peachey (@Thignificent180)

In This Episode of the Simpsons, Homer finds a letter that Marge wrote about him about how she doesn't like how left her alone at Moe's to go play games with his friends. Homer takes offense to this and eventually moves out of the house. He then moves into the condo of two gay men. After that Weird Al writes a song to get Homer and Marge together again. Although this fails, Dr. Hibbet has a tape of how Marge was very devoted and caring during Homers first alcohol poisioning. They then get back together. Overall, Werid Al's cameo was a nice touch. The Episode was relativily funny and straightfoward.

Episode 309

Dude, Where's my Ranch

Zach Dombi (@dach_zombi)

This episode starts with Homer writing a popular Christmas song. The song gets so popular that the Simpson family gets sick of it and decides to go on dude ranch vacation to get away. At the ranch, the Simpson's family fully embraces the western culture with Bart and Homer fighting off a pack of beavers and Lisa falling into a false love with a local rancher. The episode takes on light hearted humor aimed at Native Americans as well as Homer's ridiculous plans to fight off the beavers and break up a dam. A solid middle of the road Simpson's episode overall

Episode 310

Old Yeller-Belly

Zach Dombi (@dach_zombi)

The episode starts with Bart's tree hose collapsing and Homer attempting to help him rebuild it. Unsurprisingly Homer doesn't perform admirably at this task and Marge calls in the Amish via cowbell to help complete the task. The newly built tree house catches on fire almost immediately due to an electrical fire (the Amish built it) and homer is let down by their dog (Santa's little helper). Homer disowns the dog before it gets famous and featured by duff. The rest of the show consists of Homer and the dog trying to out do each other. The episode is sort of boring and lacks any sort of great source of humor

Season 15

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Episode 315

My Mother the Carjacker

Will M

I quit this show cold turkey in Season 10. This episode didn't make me regret that at all.

Episode 316

The President Wore Pearls

Will M

This episode was better than the prior one, but frankly, not enough to keep me going in this marathon. I'd happily watch Seasons 1-8, or at least 2-7, over and over and over. But this was just ruining happy memories.

Episode 321

"Marge vs. Singles, Seniors, Childless Couples and Teens and Gays"

Nick Hess

Aside from some great 60s-era music choices, this episode is among the weakest of the season. The loose plotline includes Marge starting a political protest after attending a children's concert for Maggie. Hippie Woodstock babies are kinda funny, but its mostly one-trick pony jokes are scattered among a vague children vs. adults theme. Has its moments but feels like a bad Family Guy formula most of the time.

Final line of the episode - HOMER: "Let's stuff these kids inside an R-rated movie while we go someplace nice!"

Episode 322

"I, (Annoyed Grunt)-bot"

Nick Hess

Despite having written off most episodes after season 10, I actually remember this one fondly. Homer tries to win back Bart's love after misassembling his new bike and embarrassing him. Bart tries to show off the bike in front of the Nelson gang, mooning them moments before it crumbles to pieces below him.

BART: "I'm riding a unicycle with my pants down. This should be every boy's dream!"

When Homer and Bart enter to compete on the Robot Rumble show, Homer substitutes himself for a functional robot. Classic slapstick scenes ensue, while real robots wail on Knock-a-Homer. A Lisa side story has her mourning deaths of Snowball II through IV. Cameos from Gill and Crazy Cat Lady are welcome laughs. Feels more well rounded that most around this time and made me laugh quite a bit.

Episode 325

Milhouse Doesn't Live Here Anymore

Ata Khan (@aumkhan)

Milhouse moves away and Bart is left with Lisa. Homer discovers panhandling and placates Marge with diamonds. Episodes where Bart and Lisa bond are among the best (hockey rivals, anyone?), and here they rediscover their bond, making you wonder if Milhouse is just Bart’s reliable out for attention. Plenty of nods to past episodes, like the rich lady giving Homer cash, when last time she wanted someone to stab him in the eye in NYC (where he also tried grifting). When Marge is on to Homer, he says, "Marge, I’m not going to lie to you." Spoken like a true Beer Baron.

Episode 329

The Wandering Juvie

Dillon Dente (@FlexxxLuger)

If seasons 1-10 are heralded as the "golden age" of the show, this would put us knee deep in the dark ages. This is apparent in many character trait deviations and squandered opportunities for cleverness which would have earlier been knocked out of the park. Bart, who becomes imprisoned after he fraudulently creates a wedding registry, is at one point embracing Homer, who is holding a lollipop-licking Bart like a baby, after being hired as a correction’s officer in the facility. This characterization of Bart is further conflicted just a season later when Bart rebels against Marge after simply being called a mama’s boy. Keeping in mind that this review should be of a standalone episode, the lust for cheap laughs is illustrated in the opening scene after an advertisement sign is shuffled to leave Bart laughing at the word "ass." Other details, like Mr. Burns suggesting he and Lenny pitch in for a wedding gift, are also inconsistent with the character’s traits. Mr. Burns’ running gag is to be an aloof and unsympathetic symbol for impersonable corporate ownership who can never remember even Homer’s name (albeit after being shot by Maggie, in business with Lisa, etc.)

Essentially, NOTHING is subtle and that contradicts the Simpson way. There are remnants of classic Simpsons jokes like the bewilderment over the size of the storage unit used to store Bart’s criminal files, or "This film has been edited for prison viewing" before the Itchy and Scratchy cartoon is shown in the juvenile prison, but even those remnants are turned to dust with the incongruence of excessive dialogue during Itchy and Scratchy.

3/10 by Simpsons standards, 5/10 by sitcom standards.

Episode 330

My Big Fat Geek Wedding

Dillon Dente (@FlexxxLuger)

A significant upgrade from it’s predecessor episode, "My Big Fat Geek Wedding" begins with an opening scene thoroughly saturated with the show’s trademark humor. Marge is reading a recipe book in bed entitled "Recipes to Think About in Bed" while homer fulfills his role as a clueless oaf who is whittling down a battery. After Groundskeeper Willie accidentally mows over the school’s only kickball, the classic Simpsons comedic tone is set early as Principal Skinner announces that while the ball is being repaired, students can play sports like "Dodgerock" and "Basegame."

A notable creative improvement in regards to the animation also takes place during the episode’s first scene where a pitch black room is illuminated by Homer’s shaving of batteries. There are also banners hanging in the gym during the Miss K / Skinner wedding that read "Bride Pride" and "Go Grrrroom", an apparent ode to riot girl culture, which is a neat easter egg. Further, the entire wedding aesthetic is centered around subtle and well-done nods to elementary school culture

There are plenty of good gags in this episode. The Incredible Hulk melon-baller, The Matt Groening gag, the entire Skinner scene at Moe’s, and Duff man’s deliverance of "Lady Duffs" are all great.

This is a solid episode! 6/10 by Simpsons standards, 8/10 by sitcom standards.

Episode 331

Catch Em If You Can

MIchael Kvasnicka (@kvasmj)

After Marge and Homer skip town on a secret second honeymoon Bart and Lisa pursue to ruin it. I've always liked this episode. It's fast paced and the jokes are good. That's really what makes a good Simpsons episode. Love the Miami Vice Intro with Grandpa and the Jersey Flag. Sometimes in these later episodes the jokes can be good but the the story lacks. That's not the case here. Pretty well done and always makes me laugh.

Episode 332

Simple Simpson

MIchael Kvasnicka (@kvasmj)

Now I am of the belief that there are very few bad Simpsons episodes. I don't think this one gets there but it's not that good. Homer becomes a masked vigilante (The Pieman) crusading against the evil, or really just inconsiderate, people of Springfield. There are some good jokes and it does follow the comic book theme which runs throughout the show, but it's a bit sappy and contrite. Like I said above, I think most Simpsons episodes are entertaining. This one just isn't as smart as the really good ones.

Episode 335

Fraudcast News

Amanda Nazario (@amnazz)

The story of Lisa's underground newspaper, the Red Dress Press, is tightly written and rife with detail, down to the final "postcards" of Burns and Smithers shopping. Political cartoonist Bart scores the biggest laugh with "Principal Skinrash"-- others arise from Burns's slithering and insect-eating when he's presumed dead in a rockfall; Homer, Lenny, and Carl dressed in white-tie tap attire to dance on Burns's grave; and Skinner's flashback to using the mimeograph machine in Vietnam to sell a chair. Homer also sings along with the Spice Girls for a second. All in all a strong episode. Way to go, Moon Milhouse!

Season 16

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Episode 336

Treehouse of Horror XV

Amanda Nazario (@amnazz)

In "The Ned Zone," there's very funny timing on Ned's premonitions leading to the deaths (I also love the garage in heaven). "In the Belly of the Boss" is a good parody of the obscure but no less ripe-for-satire Innerspace, and the Kang/Kodos sitcom that bookends the show is a satisfying bonus. But the beauty and charm of this Treehouse of Horror is the middle vignette, "Four Beheadings and a Funeral," which transposes Springfield onto Victorian London and stars (among others) Lisa as Sherlock Holmes, Chief Wiggum as Jack the Ripper, and, sweetly, Ralph as Little Nemo. It is lovingly created, lending a dreamlike element that is seen in the series but seldom.

Episode 337

All's Fair In Oven War

Aidan Galea (@agalea)

"All's Fair In Oven War" finds the Simpsons in one of its humourless slumps. The plot sees Marge upset that she can't afford a nicer kitchen due to the families ever present financial woes. However, where the writers once used the Simpson's money worries as a medium to convey a sentimental, yet humorous message, this episode uses it merely as a lazy tool to transition into a terrible plot. Apparently spending $100,000 on a new kitchen has the ability to turn Marge into a magnificent chef that is revered by the entire town, giving her the confidence to enter a baking contest.

Meanwhile, Bart forgets ever meeting Hugh Hefner in the brilliant Krusty Gets Kancelled, and develops an infatuation with emulating the Playboy lifestyle in his treehouse so he can host orgies. Or whatever his idea of orgies are. Yep.

Episode 338

Sleeping With The Enemy

Aidan Galea (@agalea)

Sometimes the funniest moments in the Simpsons are the ones that are left to the imagination. The whereabouts of Nelson Muntz's father is perhaps the best example of this, as the story has fluctuated wildly throughout the shows run. "Sleeping With The Enemy" finally provides a definite answer to this story, but a terribly unsatisfying one at that. After being welcomed into the Simpson home by an unloved Marge, Nelson quickly makes Bart's life a living hell. In order to rectify the problem, Bart finds Nelson's father, who had left for the store, developed an allergic reaction to peanuts, and then was stolen by a travelling freak show. Oh, and Bart just happened to be in attendance at one of the shows. Of course.

The funniest moment in the episode comes from the unlikely candidate of Martin Prince, who illustrates President Eisenhower with Canadian Prime Minister Louis St Laurent, which Martin comments, "Their relationship was spotty at best."

Episode 339

She Used to Be My Girl

Daved Rowlnads

A media circus comes to Springfield to cover Mayor Quimby’s 27 fraternity suites. One of the reporters is Chloe Talbot (Kim Cattrall), Marge’s old college friend. She catches up with Marge over dinner at the Simpsons house. Lisa is inspired by Chloe. Marge is embarrassed by Homers behaviour and threatened by Chloe’s. A mothers affection for their kids can go so far as to hurt people but no bond is greater than a mother and her children.

Episode 340

Fat Man and Little Boy

Daved Rowlnads

Bart loses his last tooth however when he looks under his pillow he finds a donation note "a grown up gift". Bart realises that he is growing up and rebels by making offensive shirts. People love them and eventually he signs a deal with a Mr Goose (Eric Idle). Barts get dupped by Mr Goose but homer is always there to help out in a fatherly way.

Episode 343

Homer and Ned’s Hail Mary Pass

Kellie Haulotte (@kjhwriter)

In the episode, Homer does an obnoxious dance, it gets online, and he becomes a star, such a star that sport athletes hire him to teach them about showboating. The other part of it is Ned making bible films and Marge thinking that they are too violent.

It's a decent episode, the sport satire is hilarious. Tom Brady and Michelle Kwan are just a few voices. Not the most remembered episode, though when Homer dances with the octopus, it’s so stupid that you can’t help but laugh. The moral could be that, anyone can become an internet star when doing something stupid. This was in 2005 by the way! Another good part deals towards the end, on the views of what people think about religion during the halftime show. It’s pretty funny and kind of true on how people feel about putting religion in entertainment.

Episode 344

Pranksta Rap

Kellie Haulotte (@kjhwriter)

"Pranksta Rap" deals with Bart secretly going to a rap concert, which he doesn’t want to get in trouble, so what does Bart do? He pretends that he gets kidnapped!

Homer’s take on his version of what NWA means is funny, and like you’ve guessed it, the satire in this episode is about rap. The joke about Jiffy Pop aka Chintzy Pop will take anyone back to their childhood, 50 Cent’s segment is a good one, and Bart being called Bratty Hearst is a good laugh. Also seeing square Skinner hanging with a group of rappers just makes "Pranksta rap" worth the watch. If you like fine satire on a popular music genre, you’ll then enjoy it!

Episode 345

There's Something About Marrying

Mike Blais (@justblais)

On the surface, "Marrying" is an episode about marriage equality; in reality, the legalization of gay marriage just acts as a set-up to a storyline that orbits around Marge's inability to accept homosexuality in her own family. Only a few jokes manage to be "laugh out loud" funny, and the episode as a whole lacks the Simpsons-defining character driven humour. Marge's own internal conflict manages to wrap up to the right conclusion by the end, and leaves us with the poignant idea that in 2014 we still haven't resolved a moral debate that the Simpsons wrapped up in a half-hour nine years ago.

Episode 346

On a Clear Day I Can't See My Sister

Mike Blais (@justblais)

The premise for the main story in this episode is a near perfect Simpsons set-up: Lisa has a restraining order placed on Bart after his schoolyard bullying becomes to much for her to handle. The episode has plenty of off-plot jokes (the ones at the expense of global warming are particularly funny), but also allows for the great humour that comes from placing the Lisa-Bart foil at centre stage. It all adds up to be a great episode on it's own, but the secret star of the show is Homer's side story as a brainwashed and chip-implanted department store greeter.

Episode 347

Goo Goo Gai Pan

Jim DiVittorio (@jimdivittorio)

The family heads to China so Selma can adopt, with Homer posing as her husband. Homer's individual antics support the episode, from bargaining with a dragon over airline peanuts to provoking a beating from shaolin monks after mistaking them for the guard at Buckingham palace.

Eventually the Chinese learn of Selma's lie and cancel the adoption. To rescue baby Ling, Homer is painted like a golden Buddha and placed for the guards to drag into the orphanage with a meat hook by the nose.

We get plenty of humor from Homer’s antics as well as some commentary on political issues like Tibetan independence and Tiananmen Square. Like the "Do It for Her" sign that sits above his desk in sector 7G, this episode displays the extent to which Homer will go to ensure the happiness of the family he loves so dearly.

Episode 348

Mobile Homer

Jim DiVittorio (@jimdivittorio)

Homer cleaning the garage, should end well right? After discovering that "spider poison is people poison" Homer succumbs to the sneak attack by two dozen spiders and finds himself pinned under the garage door from a poorly thrown TV guide.

After Homer is revived and Marge prods him to buy a life insurance policy. After being stamped UNINSURABLE due to his medical history Marge does her best to start pinching pennies.

The resulting fight over money and some prodding by a few founding fathers, lead Homer to buy an RV. When fueling up, Homer befriends some fellow RV enthusiasts and offers them use of his backyard in exchange for regional beers.

To seal the fissure between their parents, Bart and Lisa steal the RV to return it to the dealer. After a chase on the freeway and a cross lane choking, the kids land the RV on a Turkish freighter. Marge's motherly wisdom then convinces the captain to forgo potential Northern exposure DVD profits and return the freighter to shore.

Episode 351

Don't Fear The Roofer

molsongrrrl

A severe rainstorm has hit Springfield and naturally the Simpson home is not ready for all the water. At a bar called Knockers, Homer meets a roofer who agrees to help him out. The rest of the episode is about how no one else sees this roofer named Ray (voiced by Ray Romano) except for Homer. Overall, this is not a good episode and the explanation as to why no one else sees Ray makes no sense at all. Funniest line? Professor Frink explaining the rainstorm is a result of either: A. a super cell of high pressure fronts or B. God is bowling.

Episode 352

The Heartbroke Kid

molsongrrrl

Scammer and Z-Dog vending machines are installed at the elementary school. The snacks are full of bad chemicals (Lisa attempts to warn everyone using her 'Lil Agitator' bullhorn). Bart eventually ends up morbidly obese and must be sent to fat camp, which the Simpsons can't afford. While Bart is being whipped at fat camp, his family turns the house into a hostel. Bart finally kicks the unhealthy snack habit after seeing his family being verbally abused by German back packers. Not a very good episode, but the new opening credits with obese Bart is pretty funny.

Episode 353

A Star is Torn

James Park

"Eh, it's been done." - George Harrison, Homer's Barbershop Quartet

Before it jumped the shark, The Simpsons meted out social satire with a punchy cocktail of sweetness, slapstick and the best damn storytelling in the business. Those days are over. Veteran watchers won't be surprised to see Homer involved in Lisa's singing career--after all, the Be Sharps were once bigger than Jesus, and "Colonel" Homer navigated, despite his best efforts, a young Lurleen to country music superstardom--but the entire narrative seems tacked on. Sporadic sight gags and witty lines are barely enough to keep this baby on board.

Season 17

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Episode 361

Marge’s Son Poisoning

WillM

Some better jokes, but we're absolutely at the point where characters feel less like characters and more like they do what is convenient for the writers at that time.

Episode 362

See Homer Run

WillM

Well, it was better than Jockeyland. And it was amusing to see some Affleck bashing. But this wasn't an episode I'd care to see again, or remember. Nor was it a plot line I'd remember. Sorry, I know I'm the comic book guy, but these are hollow shells.

Episode 369

The Seemingly Never-Ending Story

Steve

Episodes starts with a trip to Carl's Dad's Caverns (parodying Carlsbad Caverns) and Homer tries to steal a piece of a stalactite and then falls down a hole. Lisa tells him a story, which starts a sequence of stories (Lisa meets Mr. Burns who tells a story about Moe, who tells a story about Mrs Krabappel and Snake).

The stories intertwine and finish with a great ending and a surprise. You also learn why Snake became a criminal.

Quote: "Texas left! Which is your down!"

Haiku:
Stories spawn stories
Plot led to Emmy award
One of better Simpsons shows

Episode 370

Bart Has Two Mommies

Steve

One of the forgettable episodes in Season 17. Main plot is Marge babysitting the Flanders kids while Homer is alone with the kids (recycling an old plot), secondary plot is Bart getting adopted by a monkey.

A parody of Apple (wasn't quite the behemoth it is today back in 2006), and Mr. Burns looking into a Hell Mirror are some of the cute moments, otherwise the rest of the episode is very meh.

Quote: "Monkeys don't have feelings. If they did, my experiments on them could be called cruel."

Haiku:
Boring episode
Some interesting guest stars
Hit or miss Simpsons

Episode 373

Kiss Kiss Bangalore

Rick Scaia

A good ol' basic "Homer at work" story that veers off into crazy directions. Mainly, India, to where Mr. Burns relocates the power plant, wanting cheaper workers. But Homer, Kurtz-like, becomes worshiped as a god when he teaches them about overtime, coffee breaks, and such. So the plant moves back to Springfield.

But what really makes the episode is the B-story, in which Patty and Selma kidnap MacGyver (Richard Dean Anderson, voicing himself) from a Stargate convention AFTER he declares his hatred for McGyver. So many quotable lines, and such a great twist to the abduction. But only 100 words.

Episode 374

The Wettest Stories Ever Told

Rick Scaia

Another of the "Simpsons retelling famous stories" episodes. This time, Tales of the Sea.

First, Lisa spins a yarn about the Mayflower, in which a not-quite-Puritanical Homer ("A widow, eh? So the codpiece holds no terrors for thee!") saves the day.

Then Marge tells Homer to wait, and let Bart go next, because "the middle one is usually the weakest." Bart retells the Mutiny on the Bounty. Marge was right.

Lastly, Homer supplies his version of The Poseidon Adventure (1970s style), with seemingly all of Springfield randomly cast as your stereotypical group of mismatched rag-tag heroes. Except with more Ass Suction.

Episode 375

Girls Just Want to Have Sums

Michele (@easy_miki)

In this episode of the Simpsons family they go to the theater to see the first of Itchy & Scratchy; in the theater the Principal Skinner makes a mistake by saying that women are inferior than the men. This action causes a protest ending in the division by sex in the school. In the women's section Lisa does not feel "fulfilled" as a result she disguises herself as a boy and goes to math class with the boys.

Then Lisa (called Jake Boymans) is rewarded for his skills and proves to be a girl denying that boys are better at arithmetic even if she has taken the temper of a tomboy.

Episode 376

Regarding Margie

Michele (@easy_miki)

The plot of this episode is Margie suffering of amnesia. After beating the head on a stool while she was washing, she finds herself in hospital not remembering his family, but soon returned at home the sound of Maggie, reminds in Margie the child and soon after her children and friends, Homer exception, which in the eyes of his wife appears only as a friend even after having tried to regain.

Patty and Selma, after talking with Marge, convinced her to go to a "speed dating" where she meets a guy (the most normal), who invites her in a restaurant to talk better, but here he know that she has 3 children and so he goes away. Immediatly Homer arrives to tell him that he lost the best woman in the world and the husband accompanies his wife at home. While they are on the road Margie suddenly remembers her husband only through the beer.

Season 18

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Episode 379

The Mook, the Chef, the Wife and her Homer

Tiffany Chapman (@tiff_toff)

The season 18 opener, "The Mook, the Chef, the Wife and her Homer" brings Fat Tony's progeny, Michael, into the Simpsonverse. Michael and Lisa become friends and when he refuses to be the new leader of the Springfield Mafia in favor of his cooking hobby, Homer and Bart take over on his behalf. This episode offers a whimsical couch gag showing the family playing Musical Chairs to "Pop Goes the Weasel" and delights long-time viewers with expansion of the Fat Tony character as a unique Springfieldian with a Godfather flair.

Episode 380

Jazzy and the Pussycats

Tiffany Chapman (@tiff_toff)

"Jazzy and the Pussycats" shows Bart learning to play the drums as a means to improve his behavior. The White Stripes make a colorful cameo in which Bart and Meg White have a drum-off across the entire town of Springfield. Bart then becomes popular by sitting in at Lisa's favorite Jazz club... though he calls it "Juzz." Lisa is distraught and seeks out a new talent which leads to her hording wild animals in the attic. This episode is a classic relationship builder between Bart and Lisa and it concludes with Bart showing empathy for his sister.

Episode 387

Kill Gil, Volumes I and II

Evan Moore

Christmas episodes generally aim for the sweet spot between "funny" and "heartwarming." However an episode in which Homer and Marge try to kick a squatter out of their house is not necessarily the latter, and there was not enough of the former to make up for it. This was a Christmas episode that wasn’t really about Christmas, aside from the opening animation and first 10 minutes. There were some good jokes in the beginning, with Krusty On Ice. Unfortunately, the episode got worse as it went on, with Marge’s reason for visiting Gil in Scotsdale at the end feeling forced. I also could’ve done without the "Grumple.

Episode 388

The Wife Aquatic

Evan Moore

The plot for this episode was decent, with the family visiting Marge’s childhood vacation spot. The reveal that this island paradise had deteriorated was a nice touch. There were some decent gags (i.e. Homer’s story of how the crew made it back home), but nothing uproariously funny. I would’ve liked more Bart, but instead of revealing him to be on the boat with Homer outright they hid him until the end. There wasn’t much to say about this episode; it was very middle of the road.

Episode 391

Springfield Up

Alejandro Ramirez (@aka_alejo)

Springfield Up guest stars Eric Idle as Declan Desmond, a filmmaker documenting the life of several Springfield residents. I looked it up. The show parodies an English series of documentaries called The Up Series. I have never seen it but it wouldn’t be a Simpson episode without a media reference no matter how obscure to the American audience. We also get the origins of the Crazy Cat Lady and Disco Stu. This time spent on different characters is refreshing, something you felt the writers knew since they chose to avoid Lenny’s backstory in a light hearted method.

I laughed at least four times, which is something that happens less often with the Simpsons after season 14. It’s funny when Homer is afraid of a squeaky toy because of classical conditioning.

Episode 392

Yokel Chords

Alejandro Ramirez (@aka_alejo)

Yokel Chords guest stars Meg Ryan, Peter Bogdanovich, Andy Dick, James Patterson, and Stephen Sondheim. Essentially Bart gets into some hijinks involving the cafeteria and runaway school children, which leads to Cletus’s children attending Springfield Elementary. In the episode, Bart sees a therapist, Lisa becomes a tutor, a musical number and a classic Simpson’s jab at the FOX Network. The funniest moment comes when Apu and Snake Jailbird, in a therapy session are discussing the sudden lack of intimacy in their relationship as Kwik-E-Mart clerk and criminal. Points earned for an amusing interaction between Krusty The Clown and Sondheim as well.

Overall, it’s first time I had ever watched this episode. I am happy I did but I don’t feel the need to watch it again.

Episode 395

Marge Gamer

Andrew Cardinale (@acardi)

There should be a great time capsule quality to "Marge Gamer." Marge uses the internet for the first time and gets hooked on an MMORPG.

Meanwhile Lisa, after seeing Bend it Like Beckham in the theater (released stateside in 2003), starts playing soccer. This plot reflects American perceptions of soccer in the early days of the MLS, complete with commentaries on flopping, fan riots and even a reference to Brandi Chastain’s World Cup winning shootout goal in 1999.

While watching the episode, I imagined it originally aired in the early 2000s.Unfortunately, it’s actually from 2007, long after any of these cultural touchstones were relevant.

Episode 396

The Boys of Bummer

Andrew Cardinale (@acardi)

I’d imagine that many ideas are tossed around television show writer’s rooms. Some work well on their own, some pair well with others and some are "The Boys of Bummer." Bart is ridiculed by the community after costing the little league team the state championship. He proclaims self-hatred just to have something in common with the cityfolk. Homer becomes a mattress salesman and sells a dud to the Lovejoys. They then fight with Marge and Homer over their mattress, which is apparently the best for lovemaking.

Why these plots were paired together is a mystery even now, seven years after it’s airing.

Episode 397

Crook and Ladder

mtrusczyk

When a sleep aid turns homer into a zombie; Bart causes Homer to injure the entire Springfield fire department. Feeling responsible Homer decides to join the Springfield fire department and with the addition of Apu Skinner and Moe the group start right away with their new jobs. But when Mr. Burns decides not to reward them for saving his life the group turn in to petty thieves, stealing from the people they are supposed to be saving. Soon when the kids lose all respect in their dad for what has become of him Homer has to change his ways.

Episode 398

Stop or My Dog Will Shoot

mtrusczyk

When Homer gets lost in a corn maze Santa’s Little Helper comes to the rescue. Impressed with his work Chief Wiggum enlists him in the police academy. However with Santa’s Little Helper no longer spending any time at home Bart has to find a new pet. Thus we meet Strangles the python, but when Bart brings him to show and tell all havoc breaks loose and it’s up to Santa’s Little Helper to save the day

Episode 399

24 Minutes

Kyra Kane

The voice of Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) opens this episode with "Previously on 24." Parodying the Fox hit drama, "24 minutes" goes by quickly as it countdowns to the bullies stink bombing the elementary school’s bake sale. The main ingredient of the bomb, a putrid cup of yogurt, originates from none other than Homer. The obvious brains, Lisa, pairs with her brother, the brawns, and Principal Skinner to foil the smelly operation.

One dumpster ride, a classic Bart prank call, and two explosions later, this high-pressured episode is sure to entertain down to the last minute; if not, the kids will still love the zing of raisins!

Episode 400

You Kent Always Say What You Want

Kyra Kane

On the 400th episode of this infamous show,
The ending is abrupt with a weird flow.
You have Ludacris rapping as a tube of toothpaste,
And Kent Brockman cursing on Smartline, much to Flanders’ distaste.
Kent’s boss mistakes his Splenda as cocaine,
And in a second is fired with no way to explain.
Working with Lisa, Kent bashes Fox News
On a YouTube video that garners many views.
In the end, Kent sells out and the conservatives win.
Over cereal, Lisa laments to Homer about the media’s sins.
Homer tries to expose Fox Network’s dirty deed;
But, his voice is taken over and programming ads proceed.

Season 19

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Episode 407

Husbands and Knives

Harley Nelson (@ssgarfield99)

Comic book guy kicks everyone out when Bart clams they are fake. Kids go to new comic store and he is cool. Comic book guy has to closes store. marge compares herself to wonder-woman. She goes to a fancy gym and doesn't fit in so she opens a gym in The Android's Dungeon and become it becomes popular . Homer think she will replace him after talking to other trophy husband, gets stomach staples and try to look hansom.marge has homer change back

Episode 408

408

Harley Nelson (@ssgarfield99)

Homer goes to buy a camera battery at Circuit Circus and buys a tivo(batteries free with perches). Family enjoys skipping the commercial till on night marge sees Keith Olbermann call her out on skipping. Then they watch a commercial and goes to a restaurant. It is abandon and Sideshow Bob appears and tries to kill the Simpsons. He says a catch phrase and Lisa corrects him. he looks it up and laptop exploded. arrested , and taken to court. He claps and pronounce dead. Bobs family also tries to kill and bob not dead all end up in prison

Episode 409

Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind

Bobby "Troy McClure" Bajwa

Homer, after spending a cold night outside (literally), comes home to find, well, no one. Going through a series a random, stupid events, we are treated to some great laughs. To be perfectly blunt, this is one of the few episodes in these more recent season that I can say actually wouldn't seem out of place were you to make a list of all the good episodes. This is one episode you won't want to drink a "forget me shot" after. A Simpsons twist on a movie done right. The couch gag is also quite great.

Episode 410

E Pluribus Wiggum

Bobby "Troy McClure" Bajwa

Political satire doesn't get much better than this (well, it does, but not THAT much better). A gem of the 19th season, this episode sees the Simpsons take on the elections, and the media firestorm that comes with it the only way the Simpsons know how: by being completely outrageous. Outside of a few unfortunate gaffes, like not even having a proper ending and guest star overload, the laughs keep coming. This is an episode Americans will really enjoy, no matter which side you're on; donkey, elephant or elmo. Rest in peace Fast-food boulevard, rest in peace.

Episode 419

Mona Leaves-a

Daniel Bock (@dannybocek)

In this episode Mona Simpson makes another appearance, but what starts out as another Mona-standard takes a sudden and unexpected turn when she dies and leaves Homer with one final task: to spread her ashes from the highest point of Springfield Monument Park.

While the plot is rather bad, the frequent flashbacks — especially the one at the very end — make the episode worthwhile to watch.

6/10

Episode 420

All about Lisa

Daniel Bock (@dannybocek)

In the final episode of the 19th season Lisa becomes Krusty’s personal assistant and quickly steals the show, which results in Krusty getting kicked out and Lisa becoming the star.

What makes this episode rather good is the side story about Bart bonding with Homer over a coin collection. Also having Sideshow Mel narrating the episode adds a refreshing layer.

While not one of the best episodes ever, certainly one of the best of this period.

7/10

Season 20

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Episode 421

Sex, Pies and Idiot Scrapes

Ilya Lopatin (@djnanin)

Simpson's 20th season takes off like a rocket. It's brilliant, hilarious and dead serious at the same time. How many of us knew that, when we celebrate Saint Patrick's Day, Irish people may start a war? Homer and Ned may only become friends by making bounty hunter alliance. Their story starts with hope, friendship and results in a chase packed with explosions, horses and high scrappers. Still Simpsons can’t live a day without family struggle: "I can see you with holding sex or with holding cake. But holding with sexy cake?" That’s why sharing and trust is so important, kids.

Episode 422

Lost Verizon

Ilya Lopatin (@djnanin)

Every new technology brings us fun and open new horizons. But it also may totally screw us, if we will let our obsession and fears take over. Bart gets a cell phone and brings his pranks to new level, while his mother uses this cell phone tracking chip to level-up her care. This leads Bart to live alone for 2 weeks of night terror, and leads the rest of family to Peru. Again, Simpsons teach us some good lesson: parents, don’t try to over care your children. And children, without your parents care your life will be lot less fun.

Episode 423

Double, Double, Boy in Trouble

Jeff Parks (@JeffParksNY)

A relatively laugh-less episode that centers around Bart switching places with a wealthy doppelgänger. Lenny wins the lottery and gives it all away while Mr. Burns reveals the dark side of being a benefactor. Everybody learns a valuable lesson about quality of life and social class while the viewer contemplates suicide.

Joe Montana makes a cameo "celebrity" appearance. How's that for current? The best scenes are with Millhouse, who I really identify with as an embodiment of pathos.

Episode 424

Treehouse of Horror XIX

Jeff Parks (@JeffParksNY)

Usually everyone looks forward to the Treehouse of Horror episodes, but as Marge laments in an older, better episode regarding the quality of television "But this season..."

The first horror story was a McCain presidential victory. The full vignettes are a Transformers parody oddly set on Christmas, a Mad Men parody that is nothing like Mad Men, and a Charlie Brown parody where a racist pumpkin monster antagonizes Millhouse.

Formulaic vignettes are part of the Treehouse of Horror tradition, but this effort falls flat and is among the weakest of the entire Halloween special series.

Episode 431

How the Test Was Won

Andrew E. Freedman (@Andrew_Freedman)

Sometime comedy is best when it isn't subtle. "How the Test Was Won" clearly skewers Common Core, standardized testing and similar initiatives.

Lisa, the diligent student that she is, can't wait for the Vice President's Assessment Test, but the school busses Bart, Ralph, Nelson and other less accomplished students out to raise the average score. It's simple despite its ridiculousness, making clever jabs at the idea that the best way to measure success is through tests.

It's a somewhat "safe" episode, but it proves that newer Simpsons episodes can still be topical and provide a platform for societal critique.

Episode 432

No Loan Again, Naturally

Andrew E. Freedman (@Andrew_Freedman)

The premise of "No Loan Again, Naturally" is biting social commentary. The episode about the Simpsons losing their house in a foreclosure aired in 2009, and still stings a bit as the economy continues to heal in 2014.

Luckily for the Simpsons, Ned Flanders buys the house and rents it back to them.

We get some nice character moments from the selfless Ned, but the episode as a whole still falls short. It's predictable and, with the exception of a highbrow joke about Martin Luther's 95 theses, is all situation and little comedy.

Episode 437

The Good, the Sad, and the Drugly

Jere Pilapil (@JerePila)

This episode was glaring retread of several previous episodes (pretty much any episode where Bart or Milhouse gets a girlfriend who drives a wedge between them). The addition of a go-nowhere subplot involving Lisa having depression makes this less focused, though, and the attempt to have the two plots converge is contrived.

Episode 438

Father Knows Worst

Jere Pilapil (@JerePila)

In this episode, Homer becomes a helicopter parent to Bart and Lisa (while Marge has an odd subplot wherein she discovers a hidden sauna in the basement). "Homer tries to be a good parent" is a pretty reliable joke generator, but with him working with Lisa and Bart (in separate school goals) and Marge off doing her own thing, the episode quickly runs out of time and feels like it just ends suddenly. It's still one of the better latter-day episodes I've seen, though.

Episode 441

Coming to Homerica

Harin Sabhaya

Krusty decides to serve a vegetarian burger after learning that Krusty Burger has the most unhealthy food in the world. The town loved the new burgers, especially Homer who ate 12, but they gave everyone food poisoning, because of tainted barley from Ogdenville, a neighboring town. Because of barley boycotts, the residents of Ogdenville were forced to leave home. At first, Springfield loved the Norwegians, but as they soon learned, the Norwegians were too much. The mayor decides to build fences to have separation. But after construction, Springfield misses the Norwegians and invites them back through a built-in door.

Season 21

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Episode 442

Homer the Whopper

Harin Sabhaya

Bart and Milhouse find that Comic Book Guy wrote a comic book, titled Everyman, and convince him to publish. Soon, studios want to make a movie of it, and Comic Book Guy only if he gets to pick the actor. Comic Book Guy sees Homer as perfect for the role. But, the directors need Homer to slim down, so they hire a celebrity trainer before he leaves after a month. With his trainer gone, Homer sneaks in loads of food which takes him out of shape. The directors do a bad job of editing Homer’s belly, and the movie fails.

Episode 443

Bart Gets a ‘Z’

M. Barakzai (@pach1nk0)

This is one of those ‘feel’ episodes. We get to see how Mrs. Krabappel tries to survive the day to Paul McCartney’s (very fitting) Another Day only to be hit in the face by forces she can’t control and eventually tries to cope with problems as a depressed middle aged woman who tries to overturn her life. It’s also one of the rare ones where Bart feels guilty for what he has done and tries to fix his wrongs. While the episode doesn’t get too serious on the ‘feel’ side it also isn’t very funny with delivering just a couple of laughs throughout. It also underrepresented the other members of the Simpson family and didn’t tell us anything about how they spent their time.

Episode 444

The Great Wife Hope

M. Barakzai (@pach1nk0)

This is a really enjoyable episode. Although it’s somewhat a Marge-episode it delivers something for everyone. We get MMA with great side jokes throughout the episode like classic Homer jokes and Nelsons unexpected passion and, although very ironic, a mother trying to protect her children from violence by going so far as to literally fight for the cause. Every Simpson is present and although Lisa seems a bit underrepresented the final scene totally makes up for that with a great bang.

Episode 447

Pranks and Greens

Rebecca Jodidio (@RJodidio)

The story starts when Bart is apprehended for playing yet another prank at school. He learns that he is not the greatest prankster which sends him on a researching frenzy. He finds Andy Hamilton who is unemployed and lives with his mom. Bart uncharacteristically decides to help him by getting him a job and the story gets convoluted from there. In a secondary story, Marge gets in trouble with other Springfield mothers for bringing unhealthy snacks. After going organic (despite Homer's chagrin), she is still blamed for using bakeware that has chemicals. Homer catches Marge binge eating candy and they make up. Marge's storyline though secondary, is much funnier than Bart's.

Episode 448

Rednecks and Broomsticks

Rebecca Jodidio (@RJodidio)

Rescued from a frozen lake from a random man named Cletus, Homer befriends him and his hillbilly friends and is invited to drink moonshine. At the same time, Lisa accidentally stumbles across a coven and is asked to join them. Before getting initiated, the teenage Wiccans are arrested for causing the town to go blind. Insisting they are innocent, Lisa comes to their rescue when she realizes Homer and his friends spilled moonshine into the town's water supply which caused the blindness. This episode does not stand out in the season.

Episode 461

To Surveil With Love

Jay (@jayopticon)

This episode is a great example of recent Simpsons fare: Obvious contemporary riffs combined with classic allusions. We get a Gleaming the Cube reference! This episode opens with Ke$ha and ends with seventeen Hulks (yes, seventeen Hulks). What makes The Simpsons great 20+ seasons later is how the show still incorporates recent spoofs into the character's existing personalities. When the show opens with "TiK ToK" (yes, with two capital Ks), some viewers may have changed the channel but then they would have missed Mr. Burns say, "That's a bingo."

Oh yea, Lisa becomes a brunette too.

Episode 462

Moe Letter Blues

Jay (@jayopticon)

This episode provides a great recent example of The Simpsons presenting quality story-telling. Although The Simpsons are known for clever and obscure references (this whole episode spoofs the 1949 Joseph L. Mankiewicz film, "A Letter to Three Wives"), this episode gives excellent topical humor combined with character development even 20+ years into the show. The Simpsons do a lot of small things right in this episode. This episode can be endearing and uproariously funny in one joke. Proof

Episode 463

The Bob Next Door

Adarsh (@asub05)

I was excited to watch a Sideshow Bob episode and it was entertaining for the most part. As a new neighbour moves next door to The Simpsons, Bart grows increasingly suspicious that it's Bob in disguise due to their similar voices. In a strangely gruesome scene for a non-Halloween episode, it is revealed that Bob replaced his own face with a cellmate to escape prison. I thought it was a bit too extreme even for him. In typical fashion, Sideshow Bob is stalled by Bart on the verge of being murdered, this time at the "5 corners" and caught by police in all 5 states. It was an entertaining episode and a strong performance by Kelsey Grammar but definitely not among the best Sideshow Bob episodes.

I give this episode a B.

Episode 464

Judge Me Tender

Adarsh (@asub05)

I was really disappointed by this episode and it could barely keep my attention. The main plot surrounds Moe becoming a professional judge and going to appear and rival Simon Cowell on American Idol. I found this to be quite mediocre and uninspired. The subplot of Homer having a lot more free time at home due to Moe's bar being closed was far more entertaining. Him driving Marge nuts was quite funny although I feel there was not enough time dedicated to this story.

I give the episode a C-

Season 22

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Episode 465

Elementary School Musical

Greg Jackson (@arathald)

This episode is mostly forgettable, full of the lazy jokes that unfortunately characterize the last several seasons of the Simpsons.

The Flight of the Conchords guest starring provide a welcome relief, and their catchy songs are the funniest moments of the show. Overall, it's worth a watch for their contribution, if just barely.

Episode 466

Loan-a Lisa

Greg Jackson (@arathald)

This episode feels more like the classic Simpsons than most in the past few seasons. It's chock full of satirical modern culture references, and everyone learns a valuable lesson at the end.

While it's not the best episode in several years, it reminds me of why an entire generation grew up loving this show. Worth a watch.

Episode 471

How Munched Is That Birdie in the Window?

Rasmus

This episode integrates world war history with classic Simpson's satire. Despite mainly discussing the importance of the american pigeon during the world wars, the more subtle agenda of this episode is to shed light on a wider human behaviour and to addresses the way that we interact with domesticated animals, and how it is quite similar today as to how it was back then.

There seems to be an underlying egoism in us humans when we seek to domesticate animals. We tend to do so only for our own benefit, such as having pigeons carry important messages during the world wars in order to save human lives or to expect a dog only to attack another animal if it's attacking you, but never if the dog's primal instincts calls for it. We expect other animals to serve us and to completely disregard their own desires and urges, to devote themselves to us humans and never to think for themselves, to only do as they're told.

Episode 472

The Fight Before Christmas

Rasmus

"As soon as you stop wanting something, you get it." - Andy Warhol

The Simpson family have always wanted to have the perfect christmas and everyone of them seems to have a different idea of what defines such a christmas. So when they all begin to lucidly dream of how their perfect christmas would be like then they slowly start to realize that none of them was right, because they were all out to fulfill their own self interest instead of making it a good night with the family instead. Because a family is what makes a perfect christmas, not the presents, the decoration or Santa.

Episode 475

Flaming Moe

Brad Stephenson (@shuttlecock)

While The Simpsons has touched upon homosexuality in previous episodes such as Season 8's Homer's Phobia which played with the stereotypical fear of homosexual men that some straight men experience, Flaming Moe approaches the issue with surprising maturity by featuring the homosexuality of several supporting characters as just another aspect of their personality and even touches upon more nuanced issues gay people face such as discrimination based on looks and even political elections. Flaming Moe evolves the word "gay" beyond a one-man-joke and establishes an entire gay community that not only reflects real world homosexuals but respects them.

Episode 476

Homer the Father

Brad Stephenson (@shuttlecock)

Drawing inspiration from classic sitcoms such as Family Ties and even Friends, Homer the Father explores Homer’s attempt to be a better father to Bart after being inspired by the cheesy morals of an old show on TV. What could have simply been a purely off the rails, slapstick episode surprises with both Homer and Bart legitimately trying to become better people and even though Bart initially does this to get the bike he wants, by the end of the episode he actually learns the lesson of appreciating his own hard work and even gets a legitimate A on a test.

Season 23

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Episode 489

Treehouse of Horrors XXII

Jonathan Mannhaupt (@legend_of_jon)

Now in its twenty second iteration, Treehouse of Horrors falls a little flat. The Avatar spoof felt forced, although I did enjoy the alien race being that of Kang and Kodos. The Spider-Man vignette wasn't anything spectacular either. The homage to Dexter's opening credits was well done and Home using Ned to murder his enemies was hilarious. The best part was the epilogue criticizing our society for rushing the Christmas holiday season, as that was done with wit.

Episode 490

Replaceable You

Jonathan Mannhaupt (@legend_of_jon)

This episode was really mixed. The Homer vs. a rival co-worker storyline has been done before and better. It honestly just felt like a way to have Jane Lynch guest star as a similar character to her iconic role on Glee. While the Bart storyline may have been done before as well, see evil Krusty doll in Treehouse of Horrors III, it didn't feel hackneyed. Maybe it was the "aw" factor of a stuffed robotic baby seal, but the storyline was funny and at times touching. Overall it wasn't a horrible, but it wasn't anything special either.

Episode 491

The Food Wife

David Trudo (@trudo)

This episode stated with videogames, moved on to foodies, and ended up somewhat near Breaking Bad… As a New Yorker / cooking show fan, I loved the foodie bit, especially the chef cameos from Anthony Bourdain and Gordon Ramsay. They were almost brutally underused in a dream sequence.

Aside from a slight drag in the middle from Homer whining about being left out, this was a decent episode. I probably wouldn’t seek it out to watch, but didn’t feel like turning the TV off either.

Episode 492

The Book Job

David Trudo (@trudo)

The only episode of the Simpsons I've ever sought out to watch, everything in this one is great. From poking fun at tween lit, to the process of "writing," and the Ocean's Eleven-style framing. Oh, and did I mention one Mr. Neil Gaiman playing an integral role in the episode and getting the last laugh? Because there's all that and more. The best part of the episode might've been Lisa's battle with distraction and procrastination, or, as I personally call it, writer's block. It’s echoed it that recent book of "working on my novel" tweets. British Fonzie is right: you have to write, you have to put one word after another, and you have to finish it.

Episode 493

The Man in the Blue Flannel Pants

Mark LaCroix (@Mark_LaCroix)

This is a Mad Men parody. Sadly, most of the jokes (account men sure do drink, etc.) are ones Mad Men itself has already made. The direct lifts (like the John Deere incident) are played straight, as if things we've seen before are funnier when Homer does it.

The best jokes have nothing to do with the subject, but happily, there are a lot of those, so it's still a fun watch. There's a subplot about Bart learning to read, then reading to bullies, which seems like a bit of unfinished script pulled from the 1996 writer's room recycle bin.

Episode 494

The Ten-Per-Cent Solution

Mark LaCroix (@Mark_LaCroix)

This episode starts with a series of Itchy & Scratchy movie parodies specific to 2010, followed by a joke about how out-of-date animation is by the time it airs. This is a joke that only works in 2011.

The episode then becomes a Krusty the Klown origin/comeback story, featuring Joan Rivers (playing basically herself) as Krusty's one-time/once-again agent. It then cycles though a series of episode themes including: how 30-year olds are nostalgia gluttons, how HBO's reputation for class is a sham built on porn, and how Helen Kushnick was played more memorably by Kathy Bates in The Late Shift.

Episode 499

The Daughter Also Rises

Derek Hendricks

Lisa and a boy fall in love, but are kept apart by Marge, who doesn't want someone stealing away her daughter. Inspired by the ancient story of Pyramus and Thisbe, the two set out on a romantic mission to seal their love forever by kissing under a mulberry tree, but Lisa changes her mind in the end.

Not the funniest episode, but a pleasant Valentine’s special nonetheless that reminds us of how easily myth can be mistaken for true love. There were some noteworthy moments as well, especially when Hemingway's ghostly wives visit Lisa, cautioning her against tortured writers who make horrible husbands.

Episode 500

At Long Last Leave

Derek Hendricks

The Simpsons are banished to an off-the-grid place, called "The Outlands". In the end, however, everyone in Springfield moves to the Outlands to begin life anew, along with the Simpsons family.

A warm and sentimental episode, filled with nostalgia-evoking moments. Marge and Homer sneak into a bowling alley at night, and Moe follows Homer to the Outlands to build a bar next to his best customer.

A few good laughs as well, notably when Mr. Assange from wikileaks responds to a "how’re ya doin?" from Bart with an admonition that Bart has no right to the personal information of others.

Episode 501

Exit Through the Kwik-E-Mart

Cat Blake

"Exit Through the Kwik-E-Mart" is generally The Simpson's take on "Exit Through the Gift Shop," which is a well known street art documentary. This episode features guest appearances from popular street artists such as Ron English, Kenny Scharf, Robbie Conal and of course, Shepard Fairey; who plays a big role in this episode as Bart's graffiti mentor slash artist slash undercover cop. The opening sequence is also something to be mentioned since it parodies the never disappointing HBO drama, Game of Thrones.

Episode 502

How I Wet Your Mother

Cat Blake

The Simpsons have always managed to stay relevant thanks to episodes like, "How I Wet Your Mother." Homer is wetting the bed and seeks out Professor Frink's help which eventually turns into a giant Inception parody. I find it to be one of the more interesting episodes of this season. The couch gag for this episode is also very kawaii since it features The Simpson family being wrapped, cut and turned into sushi. Yum.

Episode 503

Them, Robot

Cat Blake (@)

Them, Robot is an episode that you probably won't DVR after watching it at least one time. I found story direction to be witty but nothing too exciting. This episode seems like it was a scrapped "Treehouse of Horror" segment that somehow found its way 10 years later into a half hour long episode. If I were to grade it, I'd give it a C-. This episode is a bit of an eyeopening in a way since it truly conveys our reliances on computers and how they can someday replace us completley. I'm just hoping it won't happen in my lifetime.

Episode 504

Beware My Cheating Bart

Cat Blake (@)

Oh how Bart Simpson has grown up without actually growing up. It was only 19 seasons ago when Bart was crushing on Jimbo's girlfriend, Laura. This time around Bart is crushing on Shauna who is Jimbo's newest fling. While Bart is in a messy love triangle, Homer is obsessing over a Lost-esque television series that he watches on his new treadmill. I'd give this episode a solid B due to the scene that involves Homer placing a lawn chair over his treadmill and decides to sit on it while eating a bowl of chips. I bet those calories are flying right off. Overall, this episode seems fairly recycled but can you blame them after 23 seasons?

Episode 507

Ned 'N Edna's Blend

Jimbo Attikus (@jimboattikus)

In this classic 4-act episode of the Simpsons, we find out that Ned Flanders and Edna Krabappel are married which comes as a surprise to the entire town.

Once married and now living together, Ned and Edna realize quickly how different they are, namely in the area of child rearing. Edna takes drastic measures to give the Flanders' boys a normal upbringing by placing them in public school. This infuriates Ned, leading him to wonder if marrying Edna was right.

Will Ned learn to compromise some of his ways, to be a better husband? Or is this the end of Nedna? Only the fourth act will tell...(He compromised. Long live Nedna!).

Episode 508

Lisa Goes Gaga

Jimbo Attikus (@jimboattikus)

As implied by the title, this is a Lisa-based episode. Really though, the storyline is written around a guest appearance by a "Lady Gaga", who I'm told is a popular musician in the genre of pop.

Lisa is depressed after a public humiliation, revealing her unpopular-ness. This coincides well with a visit from Gaga, who makes it her mission to cheer Lisa up. After numerous failed attempts, Lisa finally finds her voice, by denouncing Gaga. All of this caps with a Lisa/Gaga musical number and Moe getting hit by a train.

Season 24

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Episode 509

Homerland

Alejandro Ramirez (@aka_alejo)

Homerland is the season premiere of the 25th season. It guest stars Kristen Wiig and Kevin Michael Richardson.

As a season premier episode, it starts off slowly. Homer attends a nuclear power plant convention and after three days of drinking and not working, Homer returns brainwashed. Of course, Lisa is on the case. Homer’s calm and rational demeanor unnerve Lisa. Since so much of The Simpsons humor comes from Homer’s wild and irrational antics, the episode’s humor falls a bit short. Even a moment of clever banter between FBI Agent, Homer and Marge is not fully-grown.

The episode works hard to parody Homeland and maybe if had ever watched the spy thriller series, I’d enjoy the jokes. Unable to connect the dots, I couldn’t enjoy the episode.

Episode 510

Treehouse of Horror XXIV

Alejandro Ramirez (@aka_alejo)

Treehouse of Horror XXIV features opening credits and couch gag directed by Guillermo Del Torro. The gag features references to horror and science fiction classics as well as many references to Del Torro’s films. It works. No mocks the horror and fantasy genre quite like The Simpsons.

The first segment is Springfield meets Dr. Seuss, The Fat in the Hat. Homer is the Fat (the Cat) and takes Lisa and Bart trick or treating. Instead of fun and candy, there is death and destruction. Lisa and Bart outsmart The Fat. The end.

Dead and Shoulders is a riff on a 70’s B-movie. Bart’s head is decapitated and surgically placed on Lisa’s shoulder. Bart tries to kill Lisa to control the body but fails. The segment also fails.

Freaks, No Geeks was inspired by Tod Browning’s classic horror film, Freaks. My only moment of laughter came when Marge tries to explain her "freakish" attributes to all the freaks in the circus. There’s a Rick James and How I Met your Mother reference also to enjoy.

Episode 523

Black Eyed Please

Scott Mulder (@ScottMulder)

I'm not sure which I enjoyed more. The Chalkboard Gag "I'm sorry I broke the blackboard" which inverts it to a white board. Or the Couch Gag written and illustrated by Bill Plimpton about our cast in a 1930s gangster mob scene complete with Tommy Guns.

In this episode, the writers spoofed some major issues that had been in the news at the time. Bullying, Big Pharma and Medicinal Marijuana all played a large role. Although we've seen Homer getting stoned before, in this episode he knowingly uses it for pleasure. Pass the dutchie!

I was fooled by the episode title and thought we'd see a cameo of the band of the same name. No Fergie, No Cry. The Simpsons always seem to throw in something for you file away in your personal database. Today I learned that a "tarp" is short for Tarpaulin.

3 out of 5 stars

Episode 524

Dark Knight Court

Scott Mulder (@ScottMulder)

I laughed pretty hard at the Chalkboard Gag "Jesus's last words were not 'TGIF" and not so much at the Couch Gag which everyone was represented as Easter Eggs and squished.

I had high hopes for this episode. As the title suggests, it's is both a parody of Batman and the 80's sitcom Night Court. Neither truly produced anything more than a mild chuckle for me. The cameo of Matt Groening was at the very least unexpected and cunning which generally always bolsters a positive response from viewers.

Although there were moments of witty writing, this episode didn't quite tip the amusement scale to side-splitting. I was more amused by the ending where they spoofed Sly Stallone's "The Expendables" into "The Dependables."

2 out of 5 stars

Episode 525

What Animated Women Want

Brandt Ranj (@Branj)

After disappointing Marge for far more than the umpteenth time, Homer attempts to win back her heart through a variety of increasingly dangerous yet sincere ways. Conversely, after watching a Marlon Brando film Milhouse finds success with Lisa by acting like a jerk, but ultimately finds himself reverting back to his old self.

The episode features a documentary-style voiceover various points throughout the episode to give context; mostly about how men are somewhat inept at love. The episode is largley heartwarming, save for a Japanese restaurant setting that overstays its welcome.

Episode 526

Pulpit Friction

Brandt Ranj (@Branj)

After crashing through the ceiling in the opening gag and destroying the couch, Homer orders a new one from New York which comes loaded with bedbugs. The bugs spread and the people of Springfield congregate at church, only to find Reverend Lovejoy's words uninspiring.

After his sheep have lost their way, Lovejoy is ousted by a younger, hipper priest from Shelbyville named Elijah Hooper, Elijah appoints Homer a deacon but Flanders and Bart are unimpressed and team up to deliver a biblically tinged plague. Unable to calm them down with hip references Elijah panics and Lovejoy returns.

Episode 527

Whiskey Business

Rich Davis

This episode is packed with plots, including an unfunny rip-off of ‘Flaming Moe’s’. This is after Moe attempts suicide, prompting a series of events made even less funny now, considering the recent events surrounding Robin Williams.

There is also a bizarre, immediately forgettable subplot involving Lisa, holograms and Tony Bennett. On the plus side, we get a trip to Capital City, which includes some funny stuff about Homer’s blue pants and some Boy Scouts. The most notable contribution in Simpson’s lore is Moe’s special suit, which is one of his costumes in ‘Tapped Out.’

Episode 528

The Fabulous Faker Boy

Rich Davis

Bart falls for yet another girl, this time faking his way through piano lessons. And Homer’s two hairs fall out, prompting him to face the realities of being bald. Along the way, Patrick Stewart shows up as a plant worker, really just making us wish we were watching Ep. 115. The Homer stuff is pretty funny, though, especially his succession of changing headgear. Bart’s story includes a really strange subplot involving Marge, driving lessons, and Russians. Luckily, Ralph pops up to make this not a complete waste.

Season 25

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Episode 535

Labor Pains

Braden Duran

The only "pains" in this episode was having to actually watch it. After a satirically long couch-gag (A Thanksgiving tribute that sees a 17th Century Simpsons family enduring hardships on the Mayflower only to land in the New World to a feast by the Native Americans), viewers are once again subjected to another later-season episode. In this surprisingly tear-jerking episode, we witness Homer fall in love with a baby (aptly named Homer Jr.) that he helped to deliver in a elevator, much to Marge’s dismay when she finds out how much time he is spending with the baby, as he neglects his own family.

Episode 536

The Kid Is All Right

Braden Duran

How do you make a 25th season episode interesting? Involve politics with it! And this is exactly what the writers did. After the "Silly Simpsony" cartoon short posing as the opening ( a musical sans the chalk-gag), we are initially led to a lonely Lisa singing only to have her run into a new girl "Isabel". As they become friends and attempt to do a project on FDR together, Isabel publicly reveals she is a Republican (the "not first" George Bush kind too) and Lisa is initially taken aback. As they both run for school election, Lisa comes to realize that she is proud to be a liberal and in true Simpsons fashion, loses because the students don’t like Lisa as a person, not because she is Liberal. Overall, a solid episode that included a few genuinely funny moments.

Episode 537

Yellow Subterfuge

Hans Adragon

The episode begins with a parody of Django Unchained featuring Skinner as Django and features a Free Willy tribute, a jab at the brainwashing technique of Join the Navy written backwards from an earlier episode, Marge starting Homers breathalyzer-equipped car so he can go to Moe’s, a cut-and-paste phone call from Obama and the Jamaican version of Itchy and Scratchy...that's right, Jamaican.

The episode gets a rating of "three-out-of-five-Simpsons". The main plot wasn’t a total drag but the funniest parts involve Krusty selling foreign rights to his show and the slew of foreign Krusty’s that appear. I can really sum up this episode with two words: Irish Krusty.

Episode 538

White Christmas Blues

Hans Adragon

The great part about the Simpsons intro in the HD era is there are so many different things they can do on the screen and this quality of technology has benefited the show tremendously. I actually needed to watch the intro multiple times to see all of the things I missed at normal speed. The Christmas themed episodes typically are less connected but nonetheless enjoyable however this one was saved by the technology. I had more fun freeze-framing the intro than watching the actual show. While The Itchy and Scratchy episode "It’s a Wonderful Knife" is a classic, the plot of the actual episode is dull and doesn’t really try to be interesting but this could simply be because the episode is centered on Marge more than any other character. I give it a rating of three-out-of-five-Simpsons

Episode 539

Steal This Episode

Japneet Dhaliwal (@deknalis)

"Steal This Episode" is a definite highlight in the later seasons of The Simpsons. The episode touches on the idea of movie piracy, but shows both sides of the story. The episode does have a few cutaway gags, a medium I'm not fond of, but it has great subtle jokes as well. Even with a bit of a lackluster ending, the episode is one of the finest episodes in not just the season, but the series.

Episode 540

Married to the Blob

Japneet Dhaliwal (@deknalis)

This episode starts with one of my favorite couch gags, showing an animation style of Bill Plympton. The episode takes a pretty big risk by focusing on Comic Book Guy, a pretty one note character. Somewhat surprisingly though, the episode is a personal favorite. It has a certain respect for Comic Book Guy, and a pretty nice story. The animation is the real standout though, with incredible colors and contrast, and extreme liveliness from everything. This seems like an episode with real effort put into it, and it really shows,

Episode 543

The Man who Grew too Much

Tiffany Chapman (@tiff_toff)

Any Sideshow Bob episode is a good episode. This one is no less powerful than others when it comes to the Bob storyline, in which he is a researcher for Springfield University and then decides to attempt suicide by drowning only to remember he has gills... More moving than the episode, however, is the conclusion: The most emotionally driven conclusion of any Simpsons ever written. [Major Spoiler] The loss of Marcia Wallace just over 4 months before this episode aired meant the end of one of Springfield's most beloved characters: Mrs. Edna Krabappel. At the close of "The Man who Grew too Much," Ned Flanders reminisces about Edna and then says, "I'm sure gonna miss that laugh." Nelson Muntz then points and laughs at Ned through his window, but tearily replies, "I miss her too." This finale is reminiscent of the famous and painful close to Futurama's "Seymore & Fry" saga, but more palpable since Edna was a beloved teacher known in the hearts of Simpsons fans for 25 years.

Episode 544

The Winter of his Content

Tiffany Chapman (@tiff_toff)

Abe Simpson's retirement home closes and Marge agrees to take him (and two other elderly residents) into the Simpson home. The side story follows Bart and Nelson becoming friends again, this time because Bart defended Nelson's wearing used underwear. Homer begins to act like the retirees, and Marge decides that the old men must go so Homer will return to a more youthful state. On the other side of town, Bart gets blamed for shooting the head bully, Chester, with his slingshot during a bully meeting at the amusement park. In the end, Bart & the Springfield bullies (Dolph, Kearney, Jimbo & Nelson) end their getaway run from the bully convention on the beach where they find Homer and the old guys. They all walk home together as the sun rises... But only after Homer punches head bully Chester in the face. The episode's shining glory comes in the form of Warriors gags. It's worth watching just for those moments.

Episode 551

Pay Pal

Adam Evans (@adam2evans)

For the penultimate episode of the series we are treated to a Homer episode, about Homer doing mostly Homerish things. Some good jokes and a plot that compares the emotional lives of Homer and Lisa, which is enjoyable to see some parallels between 2 very different characters. Predictably and thankfully, Homers side of the story is much funnier and nicely breaks up the the half baked emotional ride the writers are trying to take us on with. In the end its a pleasing episode, more in line with the older Simpsons episodes, and actually features gags relating to the story line! Woo Hoo (said in a Homer voice)

Episode 552

The yellow badge of cowardge

Adam Evans (@adam2evans)

The last episode of the latest series ends on a laugh, but failed to be the spectacular finale, much the same way Homers plan for the 4th of july turns out. The episode kicks off in a way as if to prepare us for the incoming family guy Simpsons crossover episode, featuring many of the cut away jokes that make the former so entertaining. However the softer jokes make this style of comedy much less pleasing, aside from a joke about guns in schools. If you ignore Lisa narrating for no reason its an enjoyable episode with a few easy laughs, and like every good cartoon, everything is back to normal by the end of the episode.