Friday, July 9, 2010

My Favorite Simpsons Episodes

This is an entry that I've been wanting to do for a while. After 464 episodes, there have been bound to be dozens upon dozens of great episodes of The Simpsons. And there are, but I'm not specifically focusing on "The Good" this time. No, these are my favorite episodes of the series. Sure, the overall quality of the episode is a huge factor towards this, but it isn't the most important.

My criterion seems to fall on the lines of memorability. All of these episodes are ones I've seen well over 20 times, mostly thanks to syndication and the DVDs. These episodes have great stories, hilarious gags, and lines that I can quote both out of context and simultaneously with the episode itself. All in all, a solid half-hour of laughs pretty much confirms an episode for a spot on this list. Also, be well aware that "Favorite" and "Best" are two completely different terms. Some of these episodes will probably remain nowhere near any "Best Episodes of All Time" lists, but they have a special place in my heart nonetheless.

Now, since, like I mentioned, there are 464 Episodes as of this writing, I have a metric crapload of favorite episodes, but I engaged in that horrible task of narrowing those down into my Top 11 Favorite Episodes. I've TRIED to get them all in some kind of order, but I've been changing the placements of most of the entries several times throughout writing this. Granted, this list could've easily been a Top 25, but I just don’t have that kind of time right now.

I tried to have as little overlap as possible with my 13 Underrated Simpsons Episodes list, as only one episode from THAT list shows up here. If you read that, and I know you have, I'm pretty sure you've got a pretty good spoiler for the #1 spot in my book.

#11: Homer: Bad Man (Season 6)

You're going to be reading this statement from me a number of times from this point on, but this is such a great episode from start to finish. The episode itself starts off with Homer attending a candy trade convention, thanks to scoring two free tickets which were hidden in every millionth Krusty Krunch Bar. I just love the absolute glee Homer has by just being there, feeling "like a kid in some kind of store," to the point of outfitting Marge with a trench coat with over-sized pockets to hold all of the free samples of candy he takes from every single vendor he passes. Of course, the whole adventure comes to an apex when the entire convention chases after Homer when steals a valuable Gummi Venus deMilo. There's something utterly classic about Homer and the show itself when his reaction to warding off the mob is to toss a bomb made from a can of Buzz Cola and Pop Rocks...and having it explode like something out of an action movie.

This, in turn, sets up the rest of the story. After Homer finds his Precious Venus™ attached to the pants of the feminist babysitter he hired, she immediately accuses him of sexual harassment. What follows is perhaps the greatest satire of the then-emerging sensationalism of mainstream media. Sure, the first thing Homer does is explain exactly what happened. Of course, no one believes him, and it’s downhill from there: Ignorant protestors follow him to work to harass him, every TV show in town is demonizing him, and the news is recording his every movement, taking a page from the then-topical OJ, Joey Buttafuco and Michael Jackson scandals, complete with an infrared camera assuming a turkey roasting in the oven is Homer stewing in his own juices, and assuming that a candid shot of Homer tripping in the shower is him in an oxygen tent that gives him sexual powers. You can’t make this stuff up…

And there’s nothing about this media circus that can’t be difficult to replicate today, like Sally Jesse Raphael assuring a crying woman claiming to have been harassed by Homer that “your tears say more than real evidence ever could.” That one sentence seems to sum up people like Nancy Grace, doesn’t it? The protestors, the late night jokes, even the talk show hosted by Gentle Ben are simply hilarious, timeless references. Hell, Homer even takes solace in “Evening at The Improv,” which could be remedied today by watching the 15 hours of Comedy Central programming that ISN’T the Daily Show or the Colbert Report.

His crudely-edited interview on Rock Bottom didn’t help, either. Back then, it was a parody of shows like “Hard Copy,” but today? TMZ and Fox News have you covered for your generous helpings of SWEET CAN. Of course, when Homer clears his name, the show gives us the single greatest freeze-frame joke in the history of the series: The Rock Bottom List of Corrections, featuring such gems as “The People’s Choice Awards is America’s Highest honor,” “Cats Do Not Eventually Turn into Dogs,” and the perennial favorite “The Nerds on The Internet Are Not Geeks."

All of this, along with Homer’s song about living under the sea, his hatred of Old-Timey bikes, Grampa not recognizing Missoura’, and “Homer S.: Portrait of an Ass-Grabber” (starring Dennis Franz!), and you’ve got yourself one hell of a great episode.

#10: Lemon of Troy (Season 6)

After a history lesson on the town’s origins by Grampa, and a nagging town pride speech by Marge (a part of us all… a part of us all… a part of us all…Hey, that does work!), Bart, along with a bunch of other neighborhood kids, decide to rage war against Shelbyville after their equivalents steal the town’s historic lemon tree.

I just love this story because this was not just a story about Bart, but one about Springfield itself. After six seasons of the implied rivalry between Springfield and Shelbyville, Grampa finally explains the cause: Jebediah Springfield had a disagreement with his partner Shelbyville Manhattan, who had assumed that the entire point of their pioneer journey was to build a town that would allow people to marry their cousins. “But they’re so attractive,” he said. Nonetheless, Manhattan and his followers decided to create their own town, and the rivalry was born. Considering that the educational film at the beginning of “Lisa the Iconoclast” taught us that Springfield was originally going to be named New Sodom after misinterpreting a passage in the Bible, Shelbyville’s complaints seem completely justified in retrospect.

I just love that because of this one difference, the entire town of Shelbyville is the Bizarro version of Springfield: Their version of Bart is a bully, the people drink Fudd Beer instead of Duff, their school groundskeeper is a woman, their historical crop is the turnip, and worst of all: their fire hydrants are YELLOW.

I absolutely adore the entire scene with Bart in the tiger cage, where he must choose which Roman Numerical door DOESN’T have a man-eating tiger behind it. He simply solves the puzzle by using Sequel Math: Rocky V + Rocky II = Rocky VII: Adrian’s Revenge! We’re one movie away from this being reality, people!

Other stuff I love: Milhouse’s antics in the episode (meeting the Shelbyville Milhouse, wearing camouflage everywhere, save for his red shoes, and his insistence that he always says “Radical,” something that hasn’t been mentioned before or since), the great interaction between Martin and Nelson, aka “Team Discovery Channel,” Bart finding a lemon behind a lemon-shaped rock, and Homer hindering the gang’s escape in the RV by draining the battery by randomly cooking chickens.

The Shelbyville Homer’s reaction to the gang’s daring escape? Encouraging his son to shake his fist harder. Stay classy, Shelbyville.

#9: You Only Move Twice (Season 8)

You might know this episode better as “The One with Hank Scorpio,” and you would be right. Albert Brooks is just plain awesome as Hank Scorpio, and the fact that he appears in an episode written by the great John Swartzwelder simply makes this episode a 1-2 Punch of excellence.

It’s pretty easy to say that Scorpio is the sole reason why this episode is so great. Sure, it’s an episode where Homer gets a job in Silicon Valley-esque Cypress Creek, has an awesome boss, but is forced to move back when the rest of the family hates the town, but it’s the awesome boss that makes Homer want to stay. Hank is the complete antithesis of Mr. Burns: Friendly, engaging, respectful, actually listens to his employee’s ideas, and gives gifts for those helping him in his plot to seize the East Coast. Oh yeah, did I mention that he’s evil, too? While Mr. Burns is a cartoonishly old robber baron, Scorpio is a Bond-level Supervillian, going so far as killing the secret agent himself (kinda. It’s the lawyer-safe James BONT, but it still counts!). While Mr. Burns’ most evil plot was to build a sundial to block out the sun to monopolize all power in Springfield, Scorpio engaged in a plot to take over the East Coast, complete with threatening the U.N., killing the aforementioned Bont, and blowing up the 59th St. Bridge. The thing that sets Scorpio apart? HE SUCCEEDS. All while saying goodbye to his shoes, and giving good advice about finding hammocks.

You know what’s awesome about that whole discussion about the Hammock District? It was completely ad-libbed. You don’t see talent like that every day, you know.

I also like the concept of Cypress Creek itself, which, like Shelbyville in the previous entry, is completely different from Springfield. But while Shelbyville is the Tails to Springfield’s Heads, Cypress Creek is Springfield’s polar opposite: Clean, a beautiful ecosystem, efficient to the point where the house does all the housework, and excellent schools. These differences are what drive the rest of the family to become homesick. The lush forest sets off Lisa’s crippling allergies, Marge becomes so bored that she becomes a depressed wino, and because Cypress Creek’s school standards are so far beyond Springfield’s, Bart’s put in the remedial program with kids like a Canadian and a kid who starts fires. Hell, the elementary school is so advanced, it has its own website! But that was the joke at the time. You might wonder why it has a url of instead of something else.

You can’t also forget about Homer’s Tom Landry Hat, Bart meeting Cypress Creek’s Milhouse (I love that running gag. Wherever the Simpsons go, you’ll always find a version of Milhouse), the classic Swartzwelder joke of showing that Cypress Creek is so clean that hobos have been converted into mailboxes, Scorpio having sugar in his pockets for no discernable reason, and Homer being given the Denver Broncos for helping out his former boss. Sure, they’re not the Dallas Cowboys, but hey, the Broncos started winning after this episode aired…so I guess having Homer as team owner has its silver lining after all.

#8: Last Exit to Springfield (Season 4)

Okay “Best Episode Ever” as ranked by Entertainment Weekly, what do ya got for me? Well, to be honest, it’s an episode that certainly lives up to its hype.

You got the “Dental Plan/Lisa Needs Braces” sequence, Homer demanding a burrito, Lisa’s hallucination that reaches Yellow Submarine levels of surrealism, the monkeys at the typewriters who manage to type “It was the best of times, it was the BLURST of times,” Grampa's famous "Onion tied to my belt" story, and of course, THE BIG BOOK OF BRITISH SMILES.

There’s also the protest song that Lisa leads with her new-fangled talent of playing the acoustic guitar. The song, as a whole, is actually moving. You really feel that Lisa’s morose for her monstrous braces is fueling the energy for the song, and as all the picketers join her, Burns himself reacts in the exact same manner the Grinch did when he saw all the Whos in Whoville singing their Christmas song even with all traces of Christmas gone from the village. I mean it! They intentionally animated the sequence to look exactly like the sequence in the Grinch. And Lenny requesting for “Classical Gas” afterward is just the perfect cap for that.

There’s also the great sequence where Burns and Smithers decide to run the plant themselves, which leads to this:

This is by far my favorite piece of animation in the entire history of the series. I just love it that much, and the music that plays over this whole sequence is simply hilarious to boot.

While this episode certainly earns its place in “Best Episode Ever” territory, here are seven more episodes that I love more than this one.

#7: 22 Short Films about Springfield (Season 7)

Like “Trilogy of Error” on my Underrated Episodes List, I simply love this episode for its story structure. Instead of the main focus being on the Simpson family, we instead watch the stories of just about everyone else in Springfield. Burns and Smithers? Here. Comic Book Guy? Here. Milhouse? Definitely. Cletus The Slack-Jawed Yokel? You bet, complete with his own theme music! You’ll also see Uter, Hans Moleman, and The Capital City Goofball have the spotlight, and it’s the only episode that I can think of that includes Dr. Nick and Grampa in the same scene.

There are some fantastic scenes in here: Cletus’ aforementioned sequence (whose theme song makes up 90% of his total screen-time in the episode), Apu’s scene where he goes to a party for five minutes, the McDonalds/Krusty Burger discussion with Lou, Eddie, and Chief Wiggum, Barney paying $2000 of his $14 billion bar tab, Nelson’s epic comeuppance by the Very Tall Man, and the one that everyone remembers: Steamed Hams.

Yes, the scene with Skinner & Superintendent Chalmers that starts out with the blandest of old sitcom tropes “I burnt the roast, and the boss is coming for dinner!” but quickly descends into absurdity. It’s just a wonderful example of a hilariously awkward conversation. It starts out that Skinner’s cooking “steamed clams” in a burning oven…which descends into calling it “Steamed Hams”…which leads to a claim that it’s “an Albany expression”…then Chalmers finds out that his “steamed hams” are obviously grilled. Then we see the kitchen on fire, and in the most randomly brilliant moves of all, Skinner claims it’s the Aurora Borealis. Thankfully, Chalmers is convinced, even after hearing Agnes’s screams of terror in her burning house. Awesome.

BTW, the “22 Short Films” title is a reference to an obscure indie film called “22 Short Films about Glen Gould.” There are actually 19 stories in the episode if we count every segment of Lisa’s gum plot as separate stories, as well as Prof. Frink’s little segment at the end of the episode. That monkey is going to pay.

#6: Marge vs The Monorail (Season 4)

I. Love. This. Episode. I’m saying it now to prevent further redundancies down the line. But seriously…where to start with this one? It’s just a hilarious episode from beginning to end: From Homer re-enacting the opening to the Flintstones (complete with hitting a chestnut tree), to Burns shoving nuclear waste in trees, to the town meeting that decides how to spend Burns’ money on the monorail, to the SONG that excites the town into building said monorail, to the actual maiden voyage of the monorail itself. It’s also the episode that gave us the immortal quote “I call the big one Bitey.”

Leave it to Conan O’Brien to write a Simpsons episode that begins as The Music Man, and have it disintegrate into a parody of 70’s disaster movies. Not only is Phil Hartman completely amazing as Lyle Lanley (his best one-shot character ever in my mind), we also have Leonard Nimoy himself being hilariously awkward on the doomed monorail ride. You can really blame the show’s descent into zaniness purely on this episode alone. Up until this point in the series, the show was simply an animated grounded-in-reality satire of sitcoms and Middle-class American life. But in this episode alone we have a squirrel with laser eyes, a solar-powered monorail that travels at over 100 mph, a fantasy involving giant remote-controlled mechanical ants, a pair of Siamese twins being bloodlessly town in half by a giant M, Leonard Nimoy teleporting away from the crowd a la Star Trek, and let’s not forget the Popsicle Stick Skyscraper, the 50ft Magnifying Glass, and the Escalator to Nowhere. The show was never the same again, and I applaud Mr. O’Brien for it.

True Fact: Whenever I’m feeling down or suffering from writer’s block, I like to pop in the DVD for this episode and listen to the commentary tracks for it to cheer me up. There’s the regular crew commentary, but if you press the “Audio” button while on the commentary track, you’ll discover a SECOND track with Conan himself providing some hilarious insight. It works every time.

#5: Treehouse of Horror V (Season 6)

It was tough to pick my favorite Treehouse of Horror episode, but the fifth installment from Season 6 currently stands as my favorite. Truth be told, the Halloween episodes are usually the high point of the season, and the first eight or nine are absolute gold, but it was really a dead heat between IV & V. But IV has “Terror at 5 ½ Feet,” which legitimately scared the bejeebus outta me when I was a kid, so V is the entry you’re reading now!

The first segment, The Shinning, is an absolutely hilarious parody of The Shining, right down to the Kubrick Stare. No matter how many times I watch it, I always give great, big laughs at the blood getting off the wrong floor, all the failed “Heeeere’s Johnny” attempts, and Homer’s reaction to Marge finishing “No Beer and No TV Make Homer Something Something.”

The second segment, Time & Punishment, is just as great. Homer breaks the toaster after getting his hand stuck in it (twice!) and repairs it to the point where it causes him to become the first non-Brazilian man to travel back in time. Despite Grampa’s wedding day advice, Homer keeps screwing it up for the dinosaurs, which in turns alters the future in several horrific ways. I’m pretty sure that a world with Ned Flanders as Big Brother is far scarier than one where Bart & Lisa are giants, or a world where everyone has snake tongues, or even a world where the house is built out of squirrels. And how can you not love the world where Homer’s family is rich and perfect in every way, but no one knows what a doughnut is, yet they rain from the sky? I thought so.

Kang and Kodos make their annual cameo in this segment, where one of Homer’s butterfly effects change them into Mr. Peabody & Sherman in a hilarious call-back from earlier in the segment. I will never watch that old cartoon again without waiting for Peabody to say “Quiet, you!” at Sherman. Speaking of running gags, this year's edition featured Groundskeeper Willie being killed via an axe the back in all three segments. My favorite one is pictured above, where Maggie says "This is indeed a disturbing universe" in James Earl Jones's sultry voice.

Then there’s the final segment, Nightmare Cafeteria, which, like “Terror at 5 ½ Feet,” is genuinely terrifying. While many of the segments spoof on the fears of adults, or just fears itself, this segment revolves around the nightmares of a child: The teachers at your school want to eat you. Watching THIS episode when it aired, I’ll admit that it didn’t phaze my seven-year-old self, watching it a few more times led this segment to give me the chills. Legal issues aside, it seems like a very realistic fear in the minds of a kid: Due to budget cutbacks on the cafeteria food, the teachers find out the children are delicious, and focus their efforts into eating each and every student until Bart, Lisa, and Milhouse are left. Not only were Lunchlady Doris covered in blood and the Hamilton Beech Student Chopper creepy enough, but the parents were completely unhelpful. All Marge did was giving Bart & Lisa some bad advice, and a deleted scene for the episode showed that Homer is the author of “The Joy of Cooking Milhouse.” It doesn't exactly help that Skinner wants to literally eat Bart's shorts, either.

Sure, you might have predicted that the entire segment was a nightmare by Bart, but then they throw in the fog that turns everyone inside-out. THEN the inside-out family gets up to sing “One” from “A Chorus Line” to close out the episode. I want you to think back to when you watched the episode for the first time and give me a Show of Hands: Who honestly saw that coming? I thought so.

#4: Cape Feare (Season 5)

It was a dead heat between this and Season 6’s “Sideshow Bob Roberts” for my favorite Sideshow Bob episode, but I chose this one because of its overall story. Unlike the two previous Sideshow Bob outings, “Krusty Gets Busted” and “Black Widower,” this episode is a straight-out thriller, rather than a mystery. It’s also the first episode where Sideshow Bob is actually set on murdering Bart, rather than trying to murder Selma, or to frame Krusty for robbery. It also helps that, like the title says, the plot is taken heavily from the two “Cape Fear” movies, with a little more influence from the then-recent remake with Robert DeNiro.

I’ll assume you’ve seen this episode about two-dozen times like I have, so I’ll just sum it up thusly: Sideshow Bob gets parole, finds Bart to murder him, the family goes into the Witness Relocation Program, Sideshow Bob follows them there, and is defeated when Bart distracts him by making him sing the entire score to Gilbert & Sullivan’s “HMS Pinafore.” The entire execution of this episode is simply fantastic, giving an equal dosage of drama and comedy…but really, it’s mostly comedy.

You can thank many of this episode’s finest moments not from credited writer Jon Vitti, but by Conan O’Brien. “The Bart, The,” the entire “Hello, Mr. Thompson” sequence, and “BARTDOYOUWANNASEEMYNEWCHANSAWANDHOCKEYMASK?!” can all be attributed to him.

The completely awesome stuff that he wasn’t behind, yet would probably love to take credit for, includes the family’s drive through the cactus patch (with Bob underneath the car), Moe letting loose about a dozen pandas from crates for some reason, “Up Late with McBain,” Bob in the ice cream truck declaring who he WASN’T going to kill, Bob getting stomped on the head by a marching band and a parade of elephants (I love the one wearing the “The” sign), the letter reading I KILL YOU SCUM, what Grampa looks like without taking his pills, and of course: The Rake Gag.

Yes, the infamous Rake Gag is in the episode, and stands as one of my favorite bits in the entire series. It’s the epitome of the Overly Long Gag: Bob steps on a total of 9 rakes and lasting at a staggering 26 seconds, along with another rake on the houseboat and a lifetime of callbacks to this one scene. Hell, eleven seasons after this episode aired, we have his son step on a mini-rake! If there’s something I miss about the shortened running time of newer episodes, is the fact that many of the show’s most infamous moments came from filler material. A joke like THAT would never be able to come to be today, and it’s a damn shame.

Did I mention the “BARTDOYOUWANNASEEMYNEWCHANSAWANDHOCKEYMASK?!” scene? Because I manage to bust out laughing every time I see it. Hell, I went quite a few years without watching it before getting the season 5 DVD and I laughed for probably five minutes after this part showed up.

#3: The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson (Season 9)

It might be the New Yorker in me, but I absolutely love this travel episode. For a cartoon show, it got many aspects of Manhattan completely nailed down like the various storefronts around the city, the bus to Flushing Meadows, the bus station itself, and roaming Khav Khalash salesmen. By the way, whenever I’m driving over a bridge that passes the city, I always mention that “Governor’s Island looks so insignificant from up here,” and I always point out that various news tickers around the city have “Crime up 8 Million Percent” as a headline when I’m walking around Manhattan itself.

I should also mention that this is the infamous episode that involves Homer rescuing his car from the clutches of the World Trade Center…which was still intact. Hey, Homer didn’t do it this time! Barney drove it there after surviving a night of being a designated driver! Yes, Homer spends a majority at 1 World Trade Plaza trying to get a boot off his car. Yes, there’s lots of jokes that seem mean in retrospect, like when someone says “They stick all the jerks in Tower One.” Yes, they made a musical about the Betty Ford Clinic. Yes, the MAD Magazine office contains the real-life Alfred E. Neuman. Yes, Crab Juice seems like a more reasonable choice over Mountain Dew. But YOU thought this was all funny, and it remains hilarious to this day.

Also worthy of note is that this is the first appearance of Duffman, the rambunctious spokesman who thrusts awareness of Duff to the masses. I also adore Homer’s flashback to his first experience in Manhattan where everything he owns gets stolen and gets chased into a sewer by a pimp after tossing garbage that Woody Allen had dumped on him. I just love any story that ends in the phrase “And that’s when the CHUDs came at me.”

#2: Homer the Great (Season 6)

This is a simply fantastic episode, brought to us once again by the great John Swartzwelder. It’s a story that’s held near and dear to my heart, as it pretty much sums up my experience in College. Sure, I’m not at liberty to discuss what exactly happened with me, as is the case with all secret societies, but my time pledging a fraternity followed an eerily similar manner as Homer’s escapades with the Stonecutters: Crappy parking space at school/work, stumbling upon said society by accident, the initiation ceremony that includes trust falls, blindfolds, and paddling (dear god, the paddling), and getting some sweet, sweet benefits upon joining. Hell, even the montage of the Stonecutters’ charity work is stuff my fraternity would have done, right down to paining a building so blue that a helicopter could crash into it. I’ve mentioned this before, but this episode is also the origin of the “908” in my username, which just happens to be the number that Homer receives when he finally joins the Stonecutters.

I’ve been going on about great performances, and Patrick Stewart does a flat-out great job as Number 1, the leader of the Springfield chapter of the Stonecutters. He brings class and dignity to stuff like “Let’s all get drunk and play ping-pong!” and “And now, the final ordeal: the Paddling of the Swollen Ass...With Paddles.” And you can’t forget the great singing talent of the cast as they perform “We Do,” a drinking song about all the conspiracies that the Stonecutters are behind, like making Steve Guttenburg a star, holding back the electric car, and robbing cave fish of their sight.

Other stuff that I love about this episode: Homer’s plan to dress up monkeys to re-enact the civil war, Bart and Lisa’s whistle rings, Homer’s parking space being right next to his house, The Egg Council Guy, “912” being the real emergency number, the quick joke of Homer proclaiming to Marge that he’s a chicken, both versions of the No Homers Club, and Grampa being the card-carrying president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance for some reason.

After all of these winners, which episode has the dignity of being my Favorite Simpsons Episode of All Time?

#1: A Star is Burns (Season 6)

If you read my Underrated Simpsons Episodes entry, this shouldn’t come as a surprise to you. I love just about each and every gag, quote, and plot twist that the episode has to offer. In an effort to boost tourism in Springfield after it’s revealed that the citizens are so uneducated that they burn Principal Skinner at the stake for believing in heliocentricity and claim that cameras steal their souls, Marge suggests that the town holds a film festival. After Chief Wiggum discovers that he found an excuse to wear makeup, the town begins to film their own films, and Marge picks timeslot neighbor Jay Sherman to join the festival’s jury board. Despite Burns bribing two of the judges, Barney’s film wins and after he swears off beer, he’s awarded a lifetime supply of Duff, which he promptly hooks up to his veins.

I simply love each and every movie that we end up seeing in the festival itself, like Moe’s musical number that ends with him falling off the bar, Bart’s film of Homer trying to pull up his pants, Burns’ “autobiographical film” that’s directed by Senor Spielbergo, the requisite Itchy & Scratchy cartoon, and especially Barney’s “Pukahontas,” which somehow landed him on the cover of Etertainment Weekly. It’s interesting to note that in the film that Wiggum DOES appear in, Apu’s “Bright Lights, Beef Jerky,” he isn’t wearing makeup at all. Well, the entire short is composed of security camera footage, so it’s really hard to tell if he is, but I still say no.

For the longest time, I agreed with Homer on the aspect of a man getting hit by a football: it just worked on so many levels. Hey, I was seven when the episode aired, stuff like George C. Scott getting nailed in the groin with a football left a very powerful imprint on my childish mind. Speaking of which, my absolute favorite gag in the entire episode is “I was saying Boo-urns.” I absolutely LOVE that, despite everyone actually boos Burns’s movie, Hans Moleman was the sole member of the audience that actually SAID “Boo-urns.”

In the past few months where I was trying to work up the energy to write this entry, I kept thinking about WHY “A Star is Burns” is at the top, and not a better quality episode like “Homer The Great” or “Marge vs. The Monorail.” Besides the hilarious quality of the episode itself, I really chalk it all up to childhood nostalgia. It was my favorite as a kid, and it remains my favorite today.

Honorable Mentions: Dear lord, where do I start?! If there are any favorites that you agree with, or if you can think of a good one I left out (believe me, there are plenty), feel free to leave a comment below!


Eddie Floyd said...

Nah. "Last Exit to Springfield" is the best episode ever. Then comes "Marge vs. the Monorail" in second, followed by "Kamp Krusty", "Burns Verkaufen Der Kraftwerk", "The Old Man and the Lisa", "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy", "Much Apu About Nothing", "Lisa the Greek", "Cape Feare", "Lisa the Beauty Queen", and how in Heaven's name could you leave out "Lisa's Substitute"?!?!

Galileo said...

All good episodes, but the post was about my FAVORITE episodes, not which ones I thought were the best.

Bianca Jackson said...

The episode "Last Exit to Springfield" always had a place in my heart, being one of the first episodes I totally loved, and it totally deserves to be on the top 10. This also made me remember my last job in Las Vegas in which I always attend the union meeting, and the fact on how dentistry evolves over the years, where huge braces back then were improved to be smaller, thus saving your social life.

Anonymous said...

Damn right ASIB doesn't get the credit it deserves. I''d say my 11 favourites are, In no particular order:
You only move twice
Last Exit to springfield
Cape Feare
Homer the Great
Marge Vs the Monorail
The PTA disbands
I am Furious Yellow
Homer at the bat
The city of new york vs homer simpson
22 short films about springfield
the springfield files

Denise said...

My favorites are "Lisa's Substitute," "Much Apu About Nothing," "El Vieje Misterioso . . ." and "Coming to Homerica." Today. Subject to change.

Fun reading your list. Lists are fun.