It's been a long time coming for me, but I have finally completed my list of the top 25 episodes of all time of "The Simpsons." Now there are a lot of good episodes, so some of your favourites may not be on here. After all, with over 400 episodes to choose from, narrowing it down to only 25 was very, very difficult. Interestingly enough, season eight had both the most episodes in the top 25 (by far) and the most in the worst 10. This is not some personal bias I have towards that season, and when I reveal the top 10 episodes tomorrow, you'll see that seasons three through ten are all represented (This was not done by design, it's just how things worked out). Putting these in order was extremely hard and I may even switch some of the episodes ranked in the teens around with each other depending on my mood, but I have to say I'm very confident with this list, and I hope that you all enjoy.
25. How I Spent My Strummer Vacation - Season 14: This was a really, really tough decision for me. It was between this episode and "Mr. Plow" from season four for this spot, but ultimately I decided to give some extra credit to this episode because it aired years after the series started it's dramatically fast downward spiral and had a lot of guest stars. This episode was probably so good because it was the very last episode written by Mike Scully, who wrote such other classic episodes as "Two Dozen and One Greyhounds" and was a writer during most of the best seasons of the show. We were fortunate enough for Mr. Scully to go out with a bang and I can only hope that the entire series does as well when it finally ends, although I'm far from hopeful. Anyway, if you're unfamiliar with this episode, Homer gets really wasted and winds up on a fake version of "Taxicab Confessions" where he says that he hates his family and job. He fails to mention that he's never even seen at work anymore, which is apparently fucking hilarious even though it means we rarely see Mr. Burns or Mr. Smithers for the rest of the series. Anyway, the family sees the episode and decides that he was right for being upset so they send him to The Rolling Stones' Rock N Roll Fantasy Camp. Hilarity ensues.
24. 22 Short Films About Springfield - Season 7: It's odd, but as much as I hate the seven minute format, I loved this episode. This episode gave a lot of secondary characters a chance to really shine, particularly Seymour Skinner and his steamed hams. While the episode feels a bit like they found a drawer full of jokes that they had been waiting to use, it flows together seamlessly.
23. Bart vs. Australia - Season 6: From start to finish, this episode is superb. The writers had a great plot device to get the Simpsons to go to Australia with Bart making a collect call for "900 dollary-doos". Once there, they do a great job making parody of Australian culture, as well as excellent interactions between Homer and the border guard.
22. The Springfield Files - Season 8: The Simpsons hasn't done many crossovers, despite multiple appearances of Jay Sherman, but this is by far the best we could have hoped for. The episode has great visual gags like the police line-up and Agent Mulder's erotic FBI badge. The plot twist of the alien actually being Mr. Burns is also a great way to allow an X-files type of event to happen without either ignoring the episode for continuity or having it be a dream or some other bullshit.
21. Das Bus - Season 9: Not every episode has an A and B plot, and it's rare for both plots to be as good as this. The "Lord of the Flies" parody is priceless, especially when Bart and Lisa are trying to help Milhouse and he keeps making things worse, Homer's attempt at making money of the internet was an instant classic. Bill Gates' decision to "buy out" Compu-Global-Hyper-Mega-Net is brilliant, as well as the kids being rescued from the island by, "let's say...Moe." Also, any episode in which Ralph says something we can quote gets bonus points.
20. Worst Episode Ever - Season 12: That's right, one of the best episodes ever is "Worst Episode Ever". The show was going significantly downhill at this point,
so it's amazing that such a good episode was able to come out of season 12. The interaction between comic book guy and Agnes Skinner
can be a little revolting at times, but their generally misanthropy makes for excellent humour. Bart and Milhouse do a surprisingly good
job running a store considering how well they ran a factory, but the best part is when they uncover comic book guy's secret stash of illegal
videos. That, and Lou's Asian analogies.
19. In Marge We Trust - Season 8: As rare as it is for both an A and B plot to be superb, it's even more rare for the B plot to outshine the main plot. Marge volunteering at the church as the listen lady is quality material, but the B plot of Homer finding his face on a box in the dump is what really makes this episode classic. Bart also has one of the greatest lines of the entire series after they watch the promotional video from Mr. Sparkle to explain why Homer's face is on the box. "There's your answer, fishbulb."
18. Radioactive Man - Season 7: With the massive popularity of Radioactive Man comics in the series, it's no wonder that the character would get a movie. Fictionally speaking, of course. The episode is a fan parody of the Batman franchise, and features a number of great gags not only involving Bart and Milhouse, but related to Hollywood filming in Springfield in general. Krusty showing off his range is one of the funniest parts of the episode, and it features one of the most quoted and misquoted lines ever when Rainier Wolfcastle is being hit with acid and remarks "My eyes! The goggles do nothing!" Mickey Rourke performs well also, showing that episodes featuring a guest star, or several as is the case in some of these top episodes, tend to be better.
17. Homer's Phobia - Season 8: This episode, as well as a few others on this list, received an emmy, and rightfully so. Homer's reaction to discovering his new friend, John, is gay is both hilarious and rather realistic. The episode manners to cover the topic in an extremely entertaining fashion without being mean spirited with any of their gay jokes. John Waters does a great job, continuing the theme I just mentioned about episodes with guest stars being even better. Also, bonus points for referring to Santa as the reindeer's evil master.
16. Homer's Enemy - Season 8: Ah, Grimey. He's saying what we're all thinking! Homer's incompetent, lazy, and should have died
time and time again, and yet he lives well, has been to space, and met countless celebrities. The B plot with Bart buying a factory for
a dollar is also not only hilarious, but it provides Milhouse with some of his best lines ever, such as when he remarks that "At least
I'm doing better than dad" when he's forced to stay as the night watchmen, and his line the following morning when he tells Bart
regarding the building falling over on his watch: "But I was watching. First it started to fall over, then it fell over." Frank Grimes
was also only the few characters to ever die on the show. The sequel to this episode is considerably less classic, however.
15. Homer to the Max - Season 10: "Max Power! He's the man with the name you'd love to touch. But you mustn't touch!" This episode is one of the best because it's quotable from start to finish. Just about everything that Homer says in his Max Power persona is extremely quotable, as are the names he suggests for Marge and his alternate names. In fact, the plot of the episode almost doesn't matter because of how quotable the episode is.
14. King Size Homer - Season 7: This episode depresses me a little because I think this is when Homer's exact weight of 239 is first
revealed, meaning that at present I actually weigh slightly more than him. Self pity aside, this episode is classic.
Homer and Bart find a great way to bond by making Homer gain 61 pounds intentionally so he can get on disability, and it leads
to another great sight gag when they rub a fish sandwich on the wall to see if it's greasy enough to eat, and a bird then flies into the
wall as a result. The best part is, it doesn't feel like the entire episode was written just for Bart's punchline at the end when he
says "I think it's ironic that for once dad's butt prevented the release of toxic gas", whereas a recent episode was terrible and clearly
just an excuse for him to end the episode by saying "For once, I finally had a cow". It's also always nice to see Homer wearing something
new for a change.
13. Marge vs. The Monorail - Season 4: It's getting hard not to just say "this is a great episode" about all of them, as they all are. Marge vs. the Monorail features a catchy and funny song, guest appearances by Leonard Nimoy and Phil Hartman, and a terrifying look at the dangers of solar power. This is another heavily quoted episode, with my favourite quote being "I call the big one Bitey".
12. Radio Bart - Season 3: This episode is great as it not only really builds on the family dynamic with Bart rejecting Homer's gift and finally seeing he can have fun with it thanks to Marge, but it's full of laughs as well. It seems that not only do guest stars help make the episodes great, but clever songs such as this episode's "We're Sending Our Love Down the Well" are signs of a true classic. Rather than people just bursting into song, this one takes the form of a benefit recording session, which gives them a chance to show some of their minor secondary characters as well. "Radio Bart" came in the middle of season three, and to me this was the episode that showed that the writers had finally come into their own. It didn't win, but it was nominated for an emmy that year, and that's pretty impressive for a season three episode. Sting makes an exceptional special guest considering they, rather realistically, state that Marge never heard Bart listen to any of his albums.
11. You Only Move Twice - Season 8: When I started this list, I figured for sure that this episode would be in the top five; it just goes to show
how many quality episodes of the show there are. This is the absolute perfect Bond parody, and is nonstop laughs from start to finish. From the opening with
Smithers singing about working for Monty Burns to the end when Homer groans about owning the Denver Broncos, there isn't a bad moment. Hank Scorpio is
one of the absolute best characters they have ever introduced, and I would love them to bring him back. After all, with all the Bond movies there are, I don't
see why Scorpio can't come back. It couldn't be worse than anything else the writers are doing these days, and it has potential to be phenomenal. This
is also one of the most quotable episodes ever, along with "Homer to the Max" and "I Love Lisa".
Continue on to part 2 of The 25 Greatest Simpsons Episodes of All Time!
Continue on to part 2 of The 25 Greatest Simpsons Episodes of All Time!
I've got a movie for ya, a fridge too far!
© 2009 by Dr. Jeebus