Dental Plan / Lisa needs braces!
February 1, 2003 10:53 PM   Subscribe

Best. Episodes. Ever. Though I think they're wrong about the worst. In honor of the upcoming 300th episode of the Simpsons, Entertainment Weekly looks back at the 25 best episodes and 1 worst. May the arguments, and uneeded meme generation, begin.
posted by eyeballkid (128 comments total)
donuts, is there anything they can't do?
posted by riffola at 11:08 PM on February 1, 2003

"Springfield will have it's first annual 'Do What You Feel' festival this Saturday whenever you feel like showing up. It will be a welcome change to our 'Do As We Say' festival, started by German settlers in 1946."
posted by Cyrano at 11:12 PM on February 1, 2003

"See all that stuff homer? That's why your robot didn't work."
posted by condour75 at 11:14 PM on February 1, 2003

"Immigants! I knew it was them. Even when it was the bears, I knew it was them."

Any list that doesn't have "Much Apu about Nothing" near the top 3 (let alone the top 25) needs some re-listin'. And pronto!
posted by jonson at 11:17 PM on February 1, 2003

"Me fail English? That's unpossible!"
posted by filmgoerjuan at 11:18 PM on February 1, 2003

"What? That's an odd name. I'd have called them "chazzwazzers."
posted by bobo123 at 11:18 PM on February 1, 2003

Ahh, Mr. Plow. Due to an obsession with plowing snow with his ATV, my boss carries this nickname, and I even have a short video clip of him plowing his driveway which I've set to Homer's 'Mr Plow' jingle.

Good times.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:46 PM on February 1, 2003

"I am disrespectful to dirt!"

Hello!? Mr. Sparkle clearly needs to be on this list. I remember seeing that episode in college whilst trying to maintain a grip on a Rolling Rock bottle. Much beer was spilled.
posted by aladfar at 11:47 PM on February 1, 2003

Aren't best-of lists supposed to end with the best episode? Am I missing something? This should be the best 25 Simpsons quotes, in any case. ("To alcohol! The cause and solution to all of life's problems!") Simpsons episodes can be iffy, but there's almost always that one quote that you'll remember forever. And quote to your friends until they blugeon you to death.

And the worst episode? Bart To The Future? That was slightly amusing. Has the writer even seen the series? The worst episode was the musical flashback episode.
posted by stavrogin at 12:03 AM on February 2, 2003

".. and that talking coyote was really just that talking dog."

"Hi Homer, find your soulmate"

"Wait a minute, dogs can't talk!"


"Damn straight!"
posted by Space Coyote at 12:07 AM on February 2, 2003

where did that punctuation start? "Best. Episode. EVER." I think it's the first time i've seen it in a mainstream sort of place.
posted by rhyax at 12:10 AM on February 2, 2003

"Homer! Are you licking toads again?"
"I'm not not licking toads."

Comic book guy, by the way, got his catchphrase from threads like this one in
posted by PrinceValium at 12:27 AM on February 2, 2003

Not bad choices for the top. The Simpsons is one of those rare shows that can never be done justice by a top 10 or even top 25, because there have been so many great episodes.

Unfortunately, it also cannot be done justice by a worst ten, let alone a worst one. The celebrity roast, the boob job, the one where homer and Bart are chained together, the tall tales episode; these are nearly unforgivable travesties.
posted by Nothing at 12:32 AM on February 2, 2003

Is there a place to buy the complete episodes? Or download for a fee? I'll gladly pay.

If there is anything I'd like to have a permanent of, it's the Simpsons episodes.

Any ideas?
posted by hama7 at 12:36 AM on February 2, 2003

Yeesh... "permanent collection of".
posted by hama7 at 12:37 AM on February 2, 2003

The N'Sync episode was horrible...

As for nitpicking... the only one on the list I would really disagree with was the Simpsons Spin-Off one, I always felt that one was particularly weak.

From the more recent seasons, The Medical Marijuana episode should have been up there, I was surprised (as were the producers) it didn't raise more controversy.
posted by bobo123 at 12:41 AM on February 2, 2003

hama7: the first two seasons are available in feature-rich box sets. I have 'em both and it's pretty easy to find season one used.
posted by kevspace at 12:54 AM on February 2, 2003

The problem is, most of the episodes in the past two seasons are so incredibly poor that it's impossible to agree on "the worst".

One of the reasons for this I've found is beside the subtlety and political humour disappearing, it's that each show picks the main character for a story, and completely centers around that individual. In other episodes, you would have little sub-plots going on at the same time, a reason Seinfeld has kept going. Now, you have a boring plotline, and the show never deviates from it.

Recent criticism? Nope, that was from 1996! Thanks for digging that up PrinceValium.
posted by bobo123 at 12:56 AM on February 2, 2003

"Good morning, fellow employee. You'll notice that I am now a model worker. We should continue this conversation later, during the designated break periods. Sincerely, Homer Simpson."

From the more recent seasons, The Medical Marijuana episode should have been up there, I was surprised (as were the producers) it didn't raise more controversy.

Meh. The kids on the 70s show smoke pot just about every episode. The Simpsons are still funny, but just aren't cutting edge anymore. If anything, their attempts just seem to result in lowbrow humour instead of the biting satire it used to be.
posted by Gary at 1:07 AM on February 2, 2003

"we're putting that bitch on ice!"
posted by quonsar at 1:24 AM on February 2, 2003

The N'Sync episode was horrible...

Well I only saw it the other day for the first time and I laughed a lot... really a lot. Ralph Wiggum singing in that baritone voice I found impossibly funny.

The Simpsons is the best thing ever to happen to us. We should never forget that.
posted by mokey at 1:38 AM on February 2, 2003

I haven't watched the Simpsons in so long, I barely remember those episodes...
posted by Orange Goblin at 2:38 AM on February 2, 2003

Nothing: The tall tales episode had a hobo singing about stabbing people with his hobo knife. This is enough to put it in the top 25 episodes, possibly the top 20.

The episode that was listed as worst, Bart to the Future, is pretty great. It certainly beats out any episode from the first season and a good portion of the second season ones.
posted by bunnytricks at 3:00 AM on February 2, 2003

'Watch this, Lis. You can actually pinpoint the second when his heart rips in half.'
posted by jedrek at 3:48 AM on February 2, 2003

When was this story put up? Do you think Deep Space Homer was yanked at the last minute? It's on everyone I know's list of favourites, I was surprised to find it missing here.
posted by Space Coyote at 3:48 AM on February 2, 2003

re: Boob Job

Are you kidding me? That was one of the funniest ones in recent memory.

"Milhouse: Bart... I think I'm ready to tell you why I was crying on the playground today...
Bart: Uhh, let's see what's on T.V.!"

Personal faves? Hmm.

Best VCR Humor: "In our mad pursuit of the scoop, we members of the press sometimes...make mistakes. "Rock Bottom" would like to make the following corrections...

Best Animation Spoof: Homer^3
...quote : Frink: Here we have an ordinary square.
Wiggum: Woah! Slow down egghead!

Best Slam at Another Country: Marge: I'll just have a cup of coffee.
Bartender: Beer, it is.
Marge: No, I said "coffee".
Bartender: "Beer"?

Since this could easily become a really long post, I'll just sum up with the Single Worst Episode: Alone Again, Natura Diddly (Maude dies). Every episode, and season afterwords, has shown a general downward trend in quality (with a few exceptions).
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:25 AM on February 2, 2003

i have a thing for the 'you only move twice'
episode,but there ya go.
I'd love the complete collection too....
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:36 AM on February 2, 2003

Thanks, kevspace.
posted by hama7 at 4:50 AM on February 2, 2003

Ye cheese-eatin' surrender monkeys!
posted by Vidiot at 4:56 AM on February 2, 2003

Most of the episodes listed in the Top 25 were from the seasons between 1992 and 1997...and I have to agree - those were the Peak Years, with only intermittent flashes of glory before and since.

"I'll bash you ... GOOD!" - Deep Space Homer
posted by davidmsc at 5:10 AM on February 2, 2003

I thought the list was actually pretty good, as the monorail episode is my co-favorite, along with "The Cartridge Family" (Homer gets a gun after soccer riots).
Gun Shop Owner: And this is for shooting down police helicopters.
Homer: Oh, I don't need anything like that...yet.
posted by planetkyoto at 5:20 AM on February 2, 2003

Also, all of the major voice actors from The Simpsons will be on "Inside the Actors Studio with James Lipton" (Bravo) on February 9 at 8:00 PM. I am somewhat dismayed that they chose to put this show on against a new episode of The Simpsons. I suppose I'll wait until IASWJL replayes.
posted by aaronchristy at 5:38 AM on February 2, 2003

Whoa - thanks, aaronchristy - must-see-TV, indeed.
posted by davidmsc at 6:20 AM on February 2, 2003

By omitting the one about the lemon tree ("Lemon of Troy"), the do(h!)lts at Entertainment Weekly have lost a faithful subscriber for life.

That episode had it all: crazy Grandpa stories, Springfield-vs-Shelbyville, Bart leads Millhouse, Nelson et al. on a dirty-dozenesque mission, Homer commandeers Ned's RV, and very little Marge and Lisa.

Too many great lines to list?

"Who will come and live a life devoted to chastity, abstinence, and a flavorless mush I call rootmarm?"
posted by pooligan at 6:48 AM on February 2, 2003

Not as good as it used to be, still better than almost everything else.

"PS I am gay."
posted by ColdChef at 7:01 AM on February 2, 2003

Space Coyte: I read this on Friday. So, as has been mentioned a few times here, it is worth repeating. No top 25 list could ever do this show justice.

My fav? The treehouse of horrors one where the dolphins attack. Surrealist comedy at its best.
posted by Quartermass at 7:27 AM on February 2, 2003

I'm sorry, Mr plow is the number one in my book, it's got every good Simpsons reference..

- "I'm your host, Troy McClure. You may remember me from such films as``The Erotic Adventures of Hercules'' and ``Dial M for Murderousness''!"
-"I was buying pornography"
- "She'll go 300 hectares on a single tank of kerosene."
-"Put it in L!"
-"Michelle Pfeiffer? Ha! The only true Catwoman is Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether, or Eartha Kitt."
-"What, you think I'm going to buy a $20,000 truck just because you make that noise?" "Whippa!"
-"Fine! I'll never, ever, ever do another stupid thing. Good night! [angrily turns to leave and walks face-first into the side of the truck]"
-Barney in a diaper
-The Mr Plow TV commercial
-God's Wrath

I'm forgetting a bunch, but this episode it the pinnacle of SImpsons humour. Many thanks to SNPP
posted by CrazyJub at 7:28 AM on February 2, 2003

I don't mind the list of best episodes, mainly because when someone does a best of list for the Simpsons it's hard to argue that something shouldn't be on there. You can bitch about what was left off, but no reasonable person will put something god awful on the best of list.

But a worst 'list' that only has one episode? That's kinda dumb, especially when the episode is nowhere near the worst. I'd take Lisa as president over the stupid pink Loch Ness monster one anyday.

Smell ya later
posted by dogwalker at 7:29 AM on February 2, 2003

My list of favorite quotes (or at least the ones that haven't already been posted)

"Yvan Eht Nioj"

"I wasn't asleep I was DRUNK!"

"I've seen teams suck before, but those were the suckiest bunch of sucks who ever sucked"

"This tastes like Gramma....."
"You're right Ralph! This does taste like gramma"
"I want more!"
(actually, just about anything said by Ralph is gold in my eyes)

One of my close friends has the first two seasons on DVD. I steal it from him regularly. ^_^
posted by krazykity16 at 7:39 AM on February 2, 2003

One of my favourite episodes just happens to be one that isn't really that funny. "Lisa's Substitute", with Dustin Hoffman as her substitute teacher, is one of the more touching episodes they ever did. It is also the best guest-starring performance in the history of the Simpsons.

But for pure laugh out loud fun, and quotable hilarity, "Deep Space Homer" has to be the best of the bunch. But that whole bit about the burning up on re-entry is going to look a bit unpleasant for a short while.
posted by grum@work at 7:55 AM on February 2, 2003

One of my all-time favorites has to be Treehouse of Horrors IV: Homer's deal with the devil, gremlins and Burn's as dracula.
posted by poopy at 7:56 AM on February 2, 2003

Can't resist adding my all-time favorite:

Marge: "Homer, you loved Rashomon."

Homer: "That's not how I remember it."
posted by Zonker at 8:06 AM on February 2, 2003

Heh Heh, good post.

Moe: "Homer, I think you're taking unfair advantage of my generous [peanut] offer"

Homer: "Shut up!"
posted by Resonance at 8:15 AM on February 2, 2003

What? No mention of the Clown College episode?! "It's the first Wednesday of the month! New Billboard day!!"


"First you get de sugar, den you get the power, den you get de wi-men.."
posted by slipperywhenwet at 8:29 AM on February 2, 2003

"Mmmmmm.... Floor Pie...."

I think some of the trouble, IMO, with the latest few years of episodes is that they seem to be just taking a character and, as a friend recently remarked, doing things TO them, rather than taking a character where that character truly MIGHT have gone - writing gags instead of real plots using the true souls of the actual characters. That includes having interactions with other characters that ALSO move that plot along rather than just being a flat reflection back to that same singular character.

Marge getting a boob job and becoming a body builder (tonight's episode)? I thought it was funnier and more in character when she had a fascination with potatoes and didn't know what Oregano was. (Spice Rack... "Eight spices? Some of these must be duplicates. or-eh-GANO? What the hell?")

And in conclusion... "I've been out here for three days and a turtle's got a hold of my teeth! Come back here ye!"
posted by thunder at 8:31 AM on February 2, 2003

"I'm afraid of everything! Dogs, Dutchmen, the gathering darkness..."
posted by Johnny Assay at 8:40 AM on February 2, 2003

My favorite Simpsons line ever:

"Homerclese cares not for beans!"

It fits almost any social situation.

(oh, and my favorite episode has to be "Homer's Phobia")
posted by ColdChef at 8:48 AM on February 2, 2003

Bart: are, as we say in Latin, a dorkus malorkus.

Lisa: That's not LATIN!
posted by slipperywhenwet at 8:59 AM on February 2, 2003

OH COME ON! "A picture of Sean Connery, autographed by Roger Moore..."
posted by oflinkey at 9:02 AM on February 2, 2003

From the film shown Flanders of his childhood bad behavior when he checks himself into the asylum:

Little Ned runs into playroom: "I'm Dick Tracy! Take that, Pruneface!" (Kicks boy.) "Now I'm Pruneface! Take that, Dick Tracy!" (Pulls a girl's hair.) "Now I'm Prune Tracy! Take that, Dick--" (Is grabbed by doctor.)
posted by nicwolff at 9:04 AM on February 2, 2003

My least favorite line: "The Simpsons are going to ______!" I imagine the writers first used it as a parody of every other sitcom that had a vacation episode; now they're just parodying themselves.
posted by Guy Smiley at 9:24 AM on February 2, 2003

I'm fond of the episode where Lisa becomes a vegetarian. "Liiiiisaaaaa...IIIIII thought you looooooooved meeeeeee..." With the flying pig...
posted by eilatan at 9:41 AM on February 2, 2003

eilatan - that episode also has Burns about to hand over a large check to charity..."When Pigs Fly!", then he and Smithers see the pig fly by the window.

Smithers "Shall I be sending that check, then?"
Burns "No"
posted by vito90 at 9:57 AM on February 2, 2003

eilatan, vito90, "Lisa the Vegetarian" is my favorite episode, too.

"It's just a little dirty- it's still good!"

"You don't win friends with salad."

"I'm going to Bovine University." (the whole Meat Council Presents film)
posted by Frank Grimes at 9:59 AM on February 2, 2003

Ha, It'd be funny to see how many of us have simpsons based screen names.

Anyways, Das Bus has got to be one of my favorite episodes.

"I eated the purple berries" [falls on the ground]
"How are they Ralph? Good?"
"It tastes like burning"

posted by guyincognito at 10:20 AM on February 2, 2003

Meat and you: Partners in freedom

"The Meat Council Presents: `Meat and You: Partners in Freedom'. Number 3F03 in the `Resistance is Useless' series."

Troy McLure and a small boy are standing in a herd of cows.

Troy: Nothing beats a stroll in cattle country. Hi, I'm Troy McClure. You may remember me from such educational films as "Two Minus Three Equals Negative Fun" and "Firecrackers: The Silent Killer".

Jimmy: Mr. McClure?

Troy: Oh! Hello Bobby.

Jimmy: Jimmy. I'm curious as to how meat gets from the ranch to my stomach.

Troy: Whoa, whoa, whoa! Slow down, Jimmy. You just asked a mouthful. It all starts here, in the high density feed lot. Then, when the cattle are just right... (swipes his finger along the top of a cow and licks it)'s time for them to graduate from Bovine University.

A siren sounds and the cattle begin moving up a conveyor belt into the meat packing plant.

Troy: Come on Jimmy, let's take a peek at the killing floor.

Jimmy: Ohhh!

Troy: Don't let the name throw you Jimmy. It's not really a floor, it's more of a steel grating that allows material to sluice through so it can be collected and exported.

External shot of the plant. The sounds of cows mooing and being cut off in startled bursts can be heard. There are electrical sparking sound effects in the background.
The camera pans down the length of the factory to a truck marked "Meat For You". There are raw chunks of meat being loaded onto the truck. Troy and Jimmy emerge, Jimmy visibly pale and queasy.

Troy: Gettin' hungry, Jimmy?

Jimmy: Uhh, Mr. McClure? I have a crazy friend who says it's wrong to eat meat. Is he crazy?

Troy: Nooo, just ignorant. You see, your crazy friend never heard of "The Food Chain".

Flash to a picture of "Food Chain", with all animals (including a rodent, a shark and a cow) and arrows pointing to a silhouette of a human

Troy: Just ask this scientician.

Cut to shot of a scientist-type person in a lab coat. He looks up from a microscope

Scientician: Uhhh...

Troy: He'll tell you that, in nature, one creature invariably eats another creature to survive.

Images of various wild carnivores attacking and eating others appears

Troy: Don't kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, he'd eat you and everyone you care about!

Image of a cow quietly chewing its cud. It turns its head towards the camera, scary music begins

Jimmy: Wow, Mr. McClure. I was a grade A moron to ever question eating meat.

Troy: Haha. Yes you were Jimmy, yes you were.

Troy briskly rubs his hand on Jimmy's head.

Jimmy:'re hurting me.
posted by vito90 at 10:21 AM on February 2, 2003

Any top 25 list which omits "Boy Scoutz in the Hood" is fatally flawed ... Homer loses a peanut and finds a $20, Bart and Milhouse get a Squishy made "entirely out of syrup" and then "go crazy, Broadway style," the miracle of The Knife, Homer and Flanders go rafting, and, finally, "water, water, everywhere, so let's all have a drink!"
posted by MattD at 10:44 AM on February 2, 2003

"I know I shouldn't eat thee, but...

Mmm, sacrilicious."
posted by brism at 10:56 AM on February 2, 2003

just about anything said by Ralph is gold in my eyes

Same here: "My daddy says I'm this close to sleeping in the garage!". I also love Comic Book Guy: "Your restraining order says no, but your eyes say yes".

I think the Halloween one (Treehouse of Horror XII) with Mr. Slithers swallowing Lord Montymort ranks up there (with most Ren & Stimpy episodes) as one of the Most. Disturbing. Cartoons. EVER! It's therefore one of my favourites.
posted by biscotti at 11:03 AM on February 2, 2003

Any top 25 list which omits "Boy Scoutz in the Hood" is fatally flawed

You beat me to it.

"Mmmmm.... free goo."

Homer: "Twenty dollars! I wanted a peanut!"
Homer's brain: "Twenty dollars can buy many peanuts."
Homer: "Explain."

And I have to mention here Barney's sublime black and white short film, complete with operatic soundtrack. "Don't cry for me, I'm already dead..."
posted by jokeefe at 11:12 AM on February 2, 2003

vito90, you rule. That film is the best 2 or so minutes that Television has ever produced. EVER!

I just love watching the shark come out of the water to eat the Gorilla. Too damn funny.
posted by Ufez Jones at 11:30 AM on February 2, 2003

Milhouse: "Hey, don't bogart that Squishee!"

Barney: "I don't know where you magic pixies came from, but I like your pixie drink."

I'd have to agree MattD. Boy Scoutz in the Hood. Springfield, Springfield, it's a hell of a town. Classic.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:40 AM on February 2, 2003

Stupid sexy Flanders.
posted by btwillig at 12:09 PM on February 2, 2003

"You've done a good job Ralph, and know you know what you need to do: Burn them! Burn them all!"
posted by slipperywhenwet at 12:53 PM on February 2, 2003

"I sleep in a drawer!"
posted by norm at 1:07 PM on February 2, 2003

"What is a wedding? Well, Webster's dictionary defines a wedding as: the process of removing weeds from one's garden."

"My cat's breath smells like cat food!"

And let's not forget James Earl Jones as the Magical Talking Taco in The Three Musketeers... Jes!!
posted by Hildago at 1:11 PM on February 2, 2003

Don't you think there have been some disgusting moments, too? Like when Homer's eyes crust over after the surgery, and when his scab heals over Ralph's hand.


posted by Resonance at 1:40 PM on February 2, 2003

I'll repeat my vote for Cape Feare from the last MetaFilter Simpons love-in. But I also have a special place in my heart for Lemon of Troy. Simply because of the exchange between Homer and his Shelbyville equivalent:

Shelbyville Homer: Bust in here and take it? You must be stupider than you look.
Homer: Stupider like a fox.
posted by MUD at 1:40 PM on February 2, 2003

Ah, Twenty Two Short Films about Springfield...
That is one of my favorites.

The hallucination scene with the accordion Argus-eyed Edna Krabapple, among others, in the one about the Guatemalan Insanity Pepper--I forget the title--with Johnny Cash as the Coyote was art.

Mr. Plow was the first episode I ever watched--I was a snotty long time Life In Hell fan--until I found out about Groening's cease and desist order against Bunnyhop, grr--and thought the series was about Bart, d'oh! God, did I laugh at Mr. Plow.

The Simpsons are about the only thing that makes me mind not having a TV.
posted by y2karl at 1:44 PM on February 2, 2003

I was a member of a frat, I can admit these many years later. My favorite memory is the benign hazing of the pledge-class behind me; we made them form a conga-line and sing ""You don't win friends with salad! "You don't win friends with salad!" every time they ran into one of us on campus. Hi-larious.
posted by GriffX at 2:22 PM on February 2, 2003

"You have selected Regicide. If you know the name of the king or queen being murdered, press 1."
posted by kirkaracha at 2:45 PM on February 2, 2003

A favorite weblog of mine had an article on Generation S and I think this thread helps prove the point. No matter how divided this place is on any other issue, we can all gather together to appreciate the Monorail song.
posted by Gary at 2:50 PM on February 2, 2003

no way was bart to the future the worst episode...

how about the one about the alligator in florida? that had to be one of the worst things i have ever seen

and how could the home smoking pot one not even get a mention... the drug stuff aside, the first 5 minutes with the crows at the start of the episode is sheer brilliance.. it almost left me lifeless on the floor from laughing so hard
posted by cmicali at 2:53 PM on February 2, 2003

oh yeah, and what about trillogy of error?

Lisa: Just testing
Linguo: Sentence fragment
Lisa: Sentence fragment is ALSO a sentence fragment
Linguo: must conserve battery power

Brillian execution

posted by cmicali at 2:59 PM on February 2, 2003

Linguo IS dead!
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:10 PM on February 2, 2003

My all-time favorite Homer quote:

"Oh, there's a NEW Mexico?"
posted by billder at 3:22 PM on February 2, 2003

Actually, it was Eric Bogosian, not Dustin Hoffman, who played Lisa's substitute teacher, wasn't it?

For worst episode, I think it's from this season. It was on about a month and a half ago. It was so bad and so unfunny, I can't even remember the plot. Really bad.

As for best, that's so hard. So many brilliant, funny moments from so many episodes.
posted by sassone at 3:25 PM on February 2, 2003

"I bent my Wookie!"
posted by norm at 3:35 PM on February 2, 2003

No mention of Joey Joe Joe Jr. Shabadoo? Well, I fixed that. Fixed it... like a FOX!
posted by mkn at 3:40 PM on February 2, 2003

nope, it was Dustin Hoffman (episode 7F19)
posted by goddam at 3:40 PM on February 2, 2003

Mr. Burns: Germs, germs! They're everywhere!

Close-up of the germs on Smither's face, in unison: Free Masons rule the country!
posted by slipperywhenwet at 3:51 PM on February 2, 2003

"We could use a new pet over at the home, since we killed that smart-mouthed bird!"
posted by Space Coyote at 4:08 PM on February 2, 2003

thats a great article gary. i too have noticed how the simpsons unifies people better than any other piece of pop culture out there.

"Do you even have a job anymore?"
"I think its obvious that I don't."
posted by joedan at 4:09 PM on February 2, 2003

Eight Misbehavin' - Oh Calcutta!
posted by emf at 4:11 PM on February 2, 2003

I'm Leonard Nemoy.

The stories you are about to hear are true. And by true, I mean false. In fact, they are lies. But they are entertaining lies, and isn't that what really matters?

The answer is no.
All the halloween episodes are great, too. "Mr. Burns has invited us to stay at his mansion in...Pennsylvania."

Homer: OK, don't panic -- remember the advice your father gave you on your wedding day... *cue thought bubble*
Grandpa: If you ever travel back in time, don't step on anything; because even the tiniest change could alter the future in ways you can't imagine.

The one where Troy McClure stars in Stop the Planet of the Apes -- I want to get Off! was priceless, too.

vito90 -- you forgot to mention that the video showed a shark leaping up and swallowing a gorilla reaching for a bannana.

Bart: Now is the winter of our discontent.
Ralph: Oh no! Run!
posted by Tlogmer at 4:20 PM on February 2, 2003

Oh, I almost forgot --

"The fingers you have used to dial are too fat. To obtain a special dialing wand, please mash the keypad with your"
posted by Tlogmer at 4:22 PM on February 2, 2003

D'oh -- the Troy McClure musical and the time-machine toaster quote were in the article.
posted by Tlogmer at 4:47 PM on February 2, 2003

To. Many. Good. Episodes. Mind. Exploding.
posted by benjh at 4:47 PM on February 2, 2003

Joey Joe Joe Jr. Shabadoo?

That's the stupidest name I ever heard!!
posted by jonson at 4:49 PM on February 2, 2003

James Woods: "Hey, you're Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, aren't you? I mean, you're the -- you're like the guy, you're a legend around here. Can I ask you, is it true you once worked 96 hours straight?"

Apu: "Oh yes, it was horrible, I tell you. By the end I thought I was a hummingbird of some kind."

Woods: "Oh yeah, you know, I studied your old security tapes."

[On tape, Apu:"Tweeeeeeeeeeeee... eeeeeeeeeee..."]

Apu: "In a few minutes, I tried to drink nectar out of Sanjay's head."

Always puts me on the floor, that one does...
posted by shecky57 at 4:51 PM on February 2, 2003

Also from that same episode, "Homer and Apu", the sign over the Quick-E-Mart guru's head: "Master knows all except combination to safe."
posted by shecky57 at 4:52 PM on February 2, 2003

There's no such thing as a soul. It's just something they made up to scare kids, like the boogeyman or Michael Jackson.

Sure Ralph is cheap laughs, but who cares? The best episode ever has to be Bart's playdate with Ralph.
posted by krakedhalo at 4:59 PM on February 2, 2003

I, for one, would like to welcome our new Simpsons quoting overlords.
posted by slipperywhenwet at 5:00 PM on February 2, 2003

Another favorite -

Jasper, the old white-bearded guy is subsitute teaching, and laying down the law:

"Talking out of turn...that's a paddling. Looking out the window...that's a paddling. Staring at my sandals...that's a paddling. Paddling the school canoe...ooh, you better believe that's a paddlin'."

posted by GriffX at 5:16 PM on February 2, 2003

Grampa in pre-war Berlin as a spy, sings as a showgirl to a table of Nazi's including Hitler. False boob falls out onto their table, whereby Hitler, very surprised, cries: "Das ist nicht einen Booby!"

I say this quite often.

Worst episode? That one with the evil horse jockeys. Hated it from beginning to end. Hated hated hated.
posted by readymade at 5:19 PM on February 2, 2003

"Remove the Stone of Shame...attach the Stone of Triumph!"

And of course the Stone of Triumph is bigger!
posted by kirkaracha at 5:23 PM on February 2, 2003

Episode: Krusty Gets Kancelled (fourth season)
Character: Krusty the Clown
Quote: Well, kids, this is where Itchy & Scratchy would be, except they're on the Gabbo show now. So here's Eastern Europe's favorite cat and mouse team, Worker and Parasite! (laughs)
Clip Shown: The most bizarre fifteen seconds of animation ever laid before me.
Punchline: Krusty, dumbfounded, yells to no one in particular, "What the hell was THAT?!
Result: A grown man (yours truly) literally rolling on the floor and laughing out loud.
posted by LinusMines at 6:12 PM on February 2, 2003

Here's a link to the Worker and Parasite clip.
posted by turaho at 6:28 PM on February 2, 2003

"Run Chronos! He's got a board with a nail!
posted by slipperywhenwet at 6:45 PM on February 2, 2003

The end of the PBS episode:

Murdoch: "Ten thousand dollars! You've saved my network!"

Bart: "Wouldn't be the first time."

Ahh, forbidden network.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 6:48 PM on February 2, 2003

For much more Simpsons goodness, check out the Everything2 metanode about our family. Many, many more quotes and memories.

And the Wit and Wisdom of Homer J. Simpson page, including, ""Lisa, if the Bible has taught us nothing else - and it hasn't- it's that girls should stick to girls' sports, such as hot oil wrestling and foxy boxing and such and such."
posted by vito90 at 6:53 PM on February 2, 2003

From the meat episode comes my catch-all phrase I use at poker, work and other endeavors:

(as the pig flies away from Homer and Bart, going through bushes and dirty water)

"It's still good, it's still good!"

I treasure my DVD collection, but salivate at the arrival of seasons three to seven. That's when the truly classic episodes are.
posted by grum@work at 7:30 PM on February 2, 2003

Household catchphrases around here:

"Homer, have you been up all night eating cheese?"

"Now let's go home, to that place where our beds... and TV... is."

"Stupid TV, be more funny!"
posted by jokeefe at 7:34 PM on February 2, 2003

And, of course:

"Fetch Mama's prying board."
posted by jokeefe at 7:45 PM on February 2, 2003

Stu: "Disco Stu... has ouzo for two-zo!"
Bart: "I'll leave you two alone."
Stu: "Disco Stu... was talking to you!"
Bart: (shudders)
posted by nicwolff at 8:04 PM on February 2, 2003

I was reasonably sane as I started to read this thread, by the end of the page I am a giggling, incoherent mess.
My offering - Grandpa: "I never thought I could shoot down a German aeroplane, but last year I proved myself wrong."
posted by Joeforking at 8:35 PM on February 2, 2003

And more from Grandpa:
"They say the greatest tragedy is when a father outlives his son. I've never fully understood why that is. Frankly, I can see an upside to it."
posted by John Smallberries at 9:25 PM on February 2, 2003

Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos!

(my eternal love and gratitude to anybody who quotes this in the next 300 Bush/Iraq threads.)
posted by arto at 9:42 PM on February 2, 2003

More pleasant thoughts...
"You have 30 minutes to move your car", "You have 10 minutes","Your car has been impounded", "Your car has been crushed into a cube", "You have 30 minutes to move your cube".
Your name? Mr. Burns. Your first name? I.. don't know.
Kent Brockman: Senator Dole, why should people vote for you instead of President Clinton?
Kodos: It makes no difference which one of us you vote for. Either way your planet is doomed. DOOMED!
Kent: Well, a refreshingly frank response there from Senator Bob Dole!
Kodos: Abortions for all!
Crowd: BOOO!
Kodos: Very well, no abortions for anyone!
Crowd: BOOO!
Kodos: Hmm. Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others!
Crowd: YAY!
Kang: My fellow Americans, as a young boy I dreamed of being a baseball. But tonight I say we must move forward, not backward! Upward, not forward! And always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!!!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:45 PM on February 2, 2003

I can't believe there's been so little mention of the Duff Gardens episode. Its got it all! ColdChef mentioned "Homercles" merely a tiny portion of the brilliance! I mean the whole thing starts with the funeral where Homer eats the collection of potato chips that resemble things, there's the whole sandwich thing, "Marge, I'd like to be alone with the sandwich now" and "Oh, how can I stay mad at you?" Lisa trips on the "water" the first aid guy gives her the pills and says, "Oh, I'm not a doctor" Got to be the best, episode, EVER! Can't believe it didn't make the list at all!
posted by Pollomacho at 7:17 AM on February 3, 2003

Just remembered another favorite episode, when the Simpsons go to buy a Winnebago (the Ultimate Behemoth) to keep up with the Flanders', and the Winnebago salesman is giving Homer the hard sell:

Homer: Does it have a deep fryer?
"Bob" from "Bob's RV Round Up: Four. One for each part of the chicken.

Bob: [running a credit check] [presses `Enter'] [sirens wail and lights flash]
Homer: Is that a good siren? Am I approved?
Bob: You ever known a siren to be good? That was the computer telling me, sell the vehicle to this fellow and you're out of business.''
posted by vito90 at 8:01 AM on February 3, 2003

As an aside, who do you think has been satirized most often on The Simpsons? The one that comes to mind would be Charlton Heston. I can think of four episodes parodying him off the top of my head: The Omega Man, Soylent Green, Greatest Story Ever Told and Planet of the Apes. I'm sure there are more. Clinton has had a lot of guest appearances as well though, but they were really small. Thoughts?
posted by CoolHandPuke at 8:38 AM on February 3, 2003

"That is some outfit, Skoey. It makes you look like a homosexual."

Just adding to the wonderful noise. Oh, worst episode? "Joke Monkey." What the fuck was that?
posted by Skot at 8:47 AM on February 3, 2003

What, no Max Power episode?

Marge: (marvelling at the fancy neighborhood they're in) "Ooh, they spell their addresses with letters!"

Homer: "From now on we'll be spelling everything with letters."


Homer: "There's only three ways to do things around here: the right way, the wrong way, and the Max Power way!"

Bart: "Isn't that the wrong way?"

Homer: "Yes, but faster!"
posted by Gilbert at 8:56 AM on February 3, 2003

It's a testament to how awesome the show is that all of us keep coming up with great moments that we forgot. Like:


Some more random ones:

HOMER: (watching TV) Oh, I hate this new Tarzan movie!
LISA: Dad, its a documentary on the homeless!

HOMER: But Marge! I swear! I never thought you would find out!

HOMER: ( On the phone with Bart) Bart I need some lucky numbers, FAST! How old are you? Uh-HUH and whats your Birthday??? No kidding? And Lisa's Birthday?? WHAT? YOU DONT EVEN KNOW YOUR OWN SISTERS BIRTHDAY? WHAT KINDA BROTHER ARE YOU??

HOMER: I dunno Marge! Trying is the first step to Failing!
posted by vito90 at 9:36 AM on February 3, 2003

Worst episode? That one with the evil horse jockeys. Hated it from beginning to end. Hated hated hated.

readymade, you're doubtless aware that your pick for Worst Episode Ever is also the same one that Comic Book Guy (now the foil for nitpicking fans) proclaims (via T-shirt) "Worst Episode Ever." Love the built-in irony!

favorite moment that I can think of right now:

Homer: ...and that's the story of April Fools.
Lisa: Dad! I was telling the story!
posted by soyjoy at 10:15 AM on February 3, 2003

Homer's heart attack:

"Hello everybody!"
"Hello, Dr. Nick!"
"The coroner! I'm so sick of that guy!"
"Bed goes up, bed goes down."
posted by jokeefe at 10:33 AM on February 3, 2003

Oh yeah, that Dr. Nick reference reminds me of falling out of my chair when Mel Gibson says "Hello, everybody!" and only Dr. Nick says "Hi, Meester Geebson!"
posted by soyjoy at 10:41 AM on February 3, 2003

Stupid sexy Flanders.

Sorry, I was out.

"A Noble Spirit Embiggens the Smallest Man."

Man does that resonate for me.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 11:30 AM on February 3, 2003

Ms. Krabappel: Embiggens? I never heard that word before I moved to Springfield.
Ms.Hoover: I don't know why. It's a perfectly cromulent word.

I'm embarrassed of how many years I watched the show before I realized that Krabappel was just "Crab Apple".
posted by Gary at 11:40 AM on February 3, 2003

No one's mentioned "Sunday Cruddy Sunday", (the "Super Bowl" episode) where Homer, et al, go to the big game, only to not get in. Completely gratuitous. Maybe the worst one ever, though "The Parent Rap" definitely ranks up there.

You can pretty much take any "major guest star" episode from the past five years and lump it in the Bad Episode pile...
posted by mkultra at 12:39 PM on February 3, 2003

this is just between you and me, smashed hat.
posted by mokey at 12:49 PM on February 3, 2003

OK, it doesn't take much with me... but here's a 2nd season classic from Dead Putting Society:

Bart: Lisa, we can't afford all these books!
Lisa: Bart, we're just gonna borrow them.
Bart: Oh... heh, heh... gotcha! [wink]

Don't ask me to explain why.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 1:36 PM on February 3, 2003

More love for Nick Riviera:

"The knee bone's connected to the...something. The something's connected to thing. The red thing's connected to my...wrist watch. Uh oh"

"Inflammable means flammable? What a country!"
posted by kurumi at 2:05 PM on February 3, 2003

The line that got me hooked on the Simpsons:

"Oh no! What have I done? I smashed open my little boy's piggy bank,
and for what? A few measly cents, not even enough to buy one beer.
Wait a minute, lemme count and make sure... [counts] not even close."

Best. Comic Book Guy. Quote. Ever.:
"Please do not lean on the display case. It contains a very rare 'Mary Worth', in which she advises a friend to commit suicide."
posted by arto at 3:46 PM on February 3, 2003

Best Homer line ever:

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of THERMODYNAMICS!!"
posted by slipperywhenwet at 4:46 PM on February 3, 2003

Marge: You're not even answering me! You're just making up sounds!
Homer: Sna.

My wife and I have adopted that into our vocabulary -- it makes us giddy everytime one of us sneaks it in.
posted by Dirjy at 7:15 PM on February 4, 2003

Mojo the helper monkey: Pray for Mojo.

Homer: Wuh? Guh? Muh? *counts on fingers* ........Suh???

Gotta do the pig one in full:

Homer: It's just a little dirty! It's still good it's still good!!
It's just a little wet! It's still good it's still good!!!!!!
It's just a little airborne! It's still good it's stil-
Bart: It's gone.
Homer: I know.

And speaking of pigs...

Nelson: Wow, all that slime sure did make this pig tasty.

Ha Ha.

And ALL the Sherry Bobbins songs
Sherry: I'm Sherry Bobbins
Lisa: Did you say Ma-
Sherry: No I did not! I'm an original character, like Ricky Rouse, and Monanld Muck.

If you cut every corner, it's really not so bad, it's the American way!

Gah! Too. Many. Simpsons. Quotes. Must. Stop. Typing. Like. Captian. Kirk. Must...... Use........ Pronouns.........

My English teacher is a major Simpson's fan, I think it's the only reason he has a TV in his house.

Oh, and I was laughing hard at some of these that I woke my mother up who was sleeping soundly upstairs. MeFi gets me in trouble with the 'rents again.....
posted by krazykity16 at 7:38 PM on February 5, 2003

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