So I recently started working on a project that I thought would be impossible: making a list of the 10 best Simpsons episodes of all
time. It turns out that that list is quite impossible to make, so I am making a list of the top 25 episodes instead. In making this
list, however, two more lists were spawned. Tomorrow I will feature the 10 worst episodes from the 8 best seasons of The Simpsons,
and today I present to you 13 honorable mentions. These are all episodes that weren't quite good enough to make it to the top 25,
but all deserve recognition for one reason or another. So without further "Apu", here are your honorable mentions.
Season 4 - A Streetcar Named Marge - Best use of Maggie: This episode is actually on my 10 worst episodes list as well, which says something about the quality of the core seasons of The Simpsons. A show can be one of the 10 worst, but still deserve an honorable mention. This episode is, by far, the best use of Maggie that the Simpsons has offered. For most of the show's 20 years, Maggie has been nothing more than furniture. Many newer episodes don't even contain her at all. In this one episode, however, we see her not lead a revolt of babies against an evil woman who sounds suspiciously like the director of the play Marge is in. Having a character who can't talk at all is tough to pull of, but this episode did it marvelously. The only other truly great use of Maggie is in "Lisa's Wedding" from Season 6, where Maggie is apparently known for never shutting up and for beautiful singing voice, but is interrupted every time she tries to talk. In all fairness, talking with food in your mouth is rude.
Season 4 - Last Exit to Springfield - Best use of repeating dialogue: A lot of TV shows are known having things repeat over and over
again, or go on extremely long in the hope that they'll become funnier the longer they go on. Family Guy is particularly known for this.
In this episode, Mr. Burns, in an attempt to save money by cutting employee benefits, has taken away the company dental plan in exchange
for a free keg of beer at all of the union meetings. While waiting in line for beer, Homer starts thinking about the
repercussions of this new contract, or attempting to at least. His mind keeps repeating, in Marge and Lenny's voices respectively, the previously
spoken dialogue of "Lisa needs braces. Dental plan." I know some people find this annoying, but most people I know have never gotten
tired of this gag.
Season 5 - Cape Feare - Best use of Sideshow Bob: This is an overall fantastic episode, and by far the best use of Sideshow Bob. Bob
is freed from prison and starts making threats towards Bart, including driving around in an ice cream truck reading off a list of the names
of neighborhood residents he was NOT going to kill. The family is put into witness relocation and moved to Terror Lake, but Bob follows them there.
The best parts of this episode apparently are considered silly and were put in because the staff was feeling lazy and careless. Bob keeps stepping on rakes, nine
to be precise, and they keep hitting him in the face. This was apparently done to fill time. The episode culminates with Bart needing
to stall as their house boat floated towards Springfield and convincing Sideshow Bob to sing the entire score of the "H.M.S. Pinafore"
as a last request.
Season 5 - The Boy Who Knew Too Much - Best use of the Quimby family: In this episode, Bart cuts class and crashed Mayor Quimby's nephew's birthday party.
At the party, Quimby's nephew keeps taunting a waiter who insists on pronouncing "chowder" with a thick, French accent rather than calling it
"chowda". They go into the kitchen and Bart is the only witness to the chef slipping and severely injuring himself. The chef sues the Quimby boy, and Bart
must choose whether to admit he skipped class and face a severe punishment from Principal Skinner, or let a "relatively innocent man" go to jail. Maybe it's
because I'm from Massachusetts or maybe it's because I hate Ted Kennedy, but I will always think of the as the best use of the Quimby's, and one of the few times
they extended the family beyond Mayor Quimby himself, despite being a blatant parody of the Kennedy family.
Season 5 - Burns Heir - Best taunt: A lot of stuff happens in this episode, but there is a taunt that is one of the most quoted lines from the entire 20 year run of The Simpsons. In fact, it's so popular that it is actually depicted on a Magic card. Bart becomes Mr. Burns heir and starts living with Burns. Homer goes to get Bart back and is stopped at the door to Burns' mansion. When Burns tell him to leave Homer replies by asking "Or what? You're release the dogs, or the bees, or the dogs with bees in their mouths and when they bark they shoot bees at you?" Burns simply closes and locks the door at this point, but that taunt will live on in infamy.
Season 6 - Two Dozen and One Greyhounds - Best song: This one was very, very hard to choose. I finally narrowed it down to this, and the song about the Canyonero from "The Last Temptation of Krust", but had to choose this. The "Be Our Guest" parody entitled "See My Vest" is not only a fantastic and hilarious song filed with ridiculous sight gags as Mr. Burns shows off his wardrobe, but it's also a completely unexpected plot turn. Lucky for the little puppies, they all were able to stand on their hind legs, like a bunch of Rory Calhouns.
Season 7 - 138th Episode Spectacular - Best ever clipshow of anything ever. This episode is fantastic, utterly fantastic. This would not only have made the top 25 episode list to come later this week, but would even have made the top 10. Unfortunately, the episode only features 23% new material, so I couldn't in good conscience include it. Regardless, this is the best clipshow ever. Not just best Simpsons clipshow, as there are far, far too many of those, but best clipshow of anything ever, as the award title indicates. Also, if it weren't for this episode we never would've seen the robotic Richard Simmons that chases Homer away after the previously mentioned dogs and bees quote.
Season 7 - Sideshow Bobís Last Gleaming - Special recognition for inspiring another excellent episode: This is probably the second best episode to feature Sideshow Bob, but it certainly isn't better than Cape Feare. In this episode, Sideshow Bob gets a nuclear bomb and threatens to destroy Springfield unless all television channels stop broadcasting. As Kent Brockman signs off from the news for good he looks back at the memories they've shared. The final thing he mentions is "dogs that were mistakenly issues major credit cards, and others who were not so lucky." However, this aired in season 7, whereas the episode "The Canine Mutiny" didn't air until season 8. In "The Canine Mutiny", Bart fills out a credit card application with the name Santa's Little Helper, and receives a credit card addressed to "Santos L. Halper".
Season 8 - Simpsons Spinoff Showcase - Best use of the seven minute format: I'm not a big fan of the seven minute format for cartoons. My general feeling is that if I wanted to watch seven minute episodes I'd be watching "Tom and Jerry" cartoons, or for a less sucky alternative, Tiny Toons and Animaniacs. However, the Simpsons Spinoff Showcase is the best episode of the Simpsons to use this format. "Clancy Wiggum, P.I." and "The Lovematic Grampa" are instant classics, with "The Simpsons Smile-time Variety Hour" being excellent as well, though not nearly as entertaining for those of us who aren't old enough to remember crappy shows like that.
Season 8 - Treehouse of Horrors VII - Best Treehouse of Horrors: Since I'm not a big fan of the seven minute format, it's no surprise that none of the Treehouse of Horrors episodes made it into the top 25 episodes. Part of the problem stems from the fact that there's no episode with what I would consider to be three truly classic segments. However, this episode comes as close as possible. "The Genesis Tub" and "Citizen Kang" are both truly classic and quite possibly the best individual segments. "The Thing and I" is a little weaker I feel, but still excellent. If I ever run for office, I intend to quote Kang's speech (as Bill Clinton) about how "we must move forward, not backwards, upwards, not forwards, and always twirling, twirling, TWIRLING towards freedom".
Season 8 - Hurricane Neddy - Best use of Ned Flanders: In this episode, the Flanders house is destroyed by a hurricane. When the town
tries to build a new house, even though they have no idea what they're doing, it falls apart again in front of Ned's eyes, setting him
off completely. He goes into therapy where we discover that he was a very misbehaved child, and his nonsensical rambling is actually
a form of repressing his rage. Homer is then called in to help by trying to make Ned angry. This episode is great because of the look
at Ned's past, explaining why he is the way he is. It also includes the great gag of him running around punching other kids when he was young yelling
"I'm Dick Tracy! Take that, Prune Face! Now I'm Prune Face! Take that, Dick Tracy! Now I'm Prune Tracy! Take that Dick F.."
Season 9 - The Principal and the Pauper - Best episode despite a horrible premise: The premise of this episode is bad. Really bad. "Manos the Hands of Fate" bad.
We discover that Principal Skinner is in fact NOT Sergeant Seymour Skinner, but was actually Private Armin Tamzarian. It's a horrible, horrible idea, but
the episode is actually really good. It's hardly one of the best episodes, but it's a lot funnier than it really should be considering how
bad the premise is.
Season 10 - Wild Barts Canít Be Broken - Best use of senior citizens: Grampa Simpson has had a lot of great moments through the run of the show, and this is not his best. It is, however, the best use of the senior citizens as a whole. There are a lot of recurring senior citizen characters, but aside from Grampa, Hans Moleman (Actually in his 30's), and Jasper, they're not used terribly effectively. In this episode, Homer, Barney, Carl, and Lenny drive around drunk after the Isotopes win the championship and trash the school. There's no evidence, so they jump to the conclusion that it's the work of teenagers, and impose a curfew forcing all children to be home early. The children then get an idea from a horror movie they sneak out to see, "The Bloodening", to broadcast a pirate radio station and reveal their parents secrets until the curfew is lifted. The episode culminates with the adults tracking down the kids and them breaking out into a song about who's right. The song is then interrupted by the senior citizens who want them all to shut the fuck all so they can sleep. They then pass a curfew for everyone under the age of 60 and reclaim the night. The song has been stuck in my head for days, and fortunately the episode is on right now so I can finally hear it again.
That's all for today, but check throughout the week as I tackle both the best and worst of The Simpsons!
I had sexual intercourse with your spouse or significant other. Now THAT'S psychiatry!
© 2009 by Dr. Jeebus