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The W - Random - Entertainment Weekly's Top 25 Simpsons Episodes
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Since: 28.4.02
From: Pittsburgh, PA

Since last post: 398 days
Last activity: 375 days
#1 Posted on
From the Feb 7, 2003 issue with Jennifer Lopez's future ex-husband on the cover, Entertainment Weekly has taken it upon themselves to determine the 25 best episodes of "The Simpsons", in honor of both it's upcoming 300th episode and the announcement that it's going to become the longest airing sitcom of all time.

The list is a pretty decent one, with no obvious ommisions or really dubious choices. The vast majority come from the heralded 3rd through 8th seasons, with an episode a piece from the first two seasons and one heavily-hyped episode from the current (which I've only seen once and can't really pass judgement on quite yet.) My objections are mostly minor - Treehouse of Horror IV was better than the one they chose, the Behind The Music parody really should be on there somewhere, etc. etc.

But, if there's one thing that Internet geeks, and IWC smarks at that, can do better than anyone else, it's pick apart a list, so without further ado, I present EW's Top 25 Simpsons Episodes Ever. (Episode descriptions are mine)

25. WHO SHOT MR. BURNS part ONE and TWO: After coming into control of the oil well struck by Springfield Elementary, Mr. Burns plots to block out the sun, only to be shot exiting the town hall, leaving everyone in town a suspect.

24. SIMPSON AND DELILAH: Homer uses his insurance to buy a miracle hair-growth formula, and his new, more attractive self shoots to the top of the corporate ladder. Also features network television's first male/male kiss between Homer and his new secretary Karl.

23. THE ITCHY AND SCRATCHY AND POOCHIE SHOW: In order to freshen up the sagging ratings of the Itchy and Scratchy show, the producers add a new proactive in-your-face character, Poochie The Rockin' Dog, voiced by Homer, who bombs miserably, but provides future generations with great nicknames for Kevin Nash.

22. HOW I SPENT MY STRUMMER VACATION: Homer attends rock and roll fantasy camp, with guest appearances from Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Tom Petty, Lenny Kravitz and Elvis Costello.

21. LIFE ON THE FAST LANE: Upset by Homer's insensitive bowling ball birthday present that he clearly bought for himself, Marge takes bowling lessons out of spite - and almost has an affair with her French instructor Jacques. (Who, incidently, was the funniest part of the whole first season.)

20. RADIO BART: Bart uses his Mr. Microphone-style radio to trick the town into thinking a young boy named Timmy O'Toole is trapped at the bottom of a well - only to fall in himself.

19. THE SIMPSONS SPIN-OFF SHOWCASE: A parody of TV spinoffs, featuring Principal Skinner and Chief Wiggum in a Miami Vice parody, a parody of the Brady Bunch Variety Hour featuring 4/5 of the Simpsons and "The Love-Matic Grandpa".

18. HOMER BADMAN: Homer is sued for sexual harrassment by the Simpsons' babysitter when she misinterprets Homer's grabbing of the sweet, sweet gummy Venus De Milo, eventually turning into a media circus.

17. BART THE DAREDEVIL: Bart decides to jump Springfield Gorge on his skateboard, leading to Homer accidently (almost) taking the jump himself to teach Bart a lesson in one of the show's most popular visual gags.

16. FLAMING MOE'S: Moe steals the drink Homer invented - The Flaming Homer - renaming it for himself and causing Moe's Tavern to become the most sucessful venture in town.

15. HOMER AT THE BAT: Mr. Burns hires MLB ringers to help the Nuclear Power Plant softball team win the championship.

14. TWENTY-TWO SHORT FILMS ABOUT SPRINGFIELD: Sing it with me now: Most folk'll never lose a toe, but then again some folk'll - like Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel!

13. THE CITY OF NEW YORK VS HOMER SIMPSON: A drunken Barney steals Homer's car, illegally parking it in New York leading a reluctant Homer to bring the family in town to get it back. However, because Barney parked the car between the World Trade Center towers, you will never see this episode again. Ever.

12. I LOVE LISA: Lisa feels sorry for Ralph Wiggum, giving him a sympathy valentine and causing Ralph to believe they're boyfriend and girlfriend.

11. DUFFLESS: Homer gets busted for a DWI and has his liscense revokes, causing Marge to pressure Homer to stop drinking.

10. THE LAST TEMPTATION OF HOMER: Homer falls for an attractive co-worker, Mindy Simmons, and worries that he won't have the will-power to avoid cheating on Marge.

9. TREEHOUSE OF HORROR V: The one where Principal Skinner and Lunchlady Doris were serving the schoolchildren as lunch in the cafeteria, the one where Homer went back in time and accidently altered the present and the parody of "The Shining".

8. A FISH CALLED SELMA: Troy McClure marries Selma Bouvier to save his career and hide his fish-fetish from the public.

7. ITCHY AND SCRATCHY LAND: The Simpsons visit The Violentest Place On Earth, which is a fine vacation until the giant robot Itchy and Scratchies roaming the park become set on killing all humans.

6. MR. PLOW: That's his name, that name again is Mr. Plow. Homer starts a snowplow business and is incredibly sucessful until Barney starts a competing business as The Plow King.

5. HOMER'S PHOBIA: Homer becomes worried when the rest of the family befriends a local homosexual named John, causing Homer to fear he's going to "give Bart gay".

4. MARGE VS THE MONORAIL: Lyle Lanley convinces Springfield to adopt a monorail system, with only Marge aware of how disasterous an idea that truly is.

3. CAPE FEARE (NOT TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH CAPE FEAR [tm]): Sideshow Bob gets released from prison and plots to murder Bart, causing the Simpsons to join the witness relocation program. "Okay, when I say 'Hello, Mr. Thompson' and press down on your foot, you smile and nod."

2. ROSEBUD: Mr. Burns and Smithers plot to recover Bobo, Burns' childhood teddy bear which has found it's way into the possession of Maggie.

1. LAXT EXIT TO SPRINGFIELD: Homer becomes the leader of the power plant's union, and leads a strike to save their dental plan. From Entertainment Weekly: "The rest is the stuff of syndication legend: Burns facing down 'brilliant' labor kingpin Homer Simpson; Homer facing down his own brain [Lisa needs braces/DENTAL PLAN/Lisa needs braces/DENTAL PLAN!!]; Grandpa rattling on about weaing onions on his belt."

And also
-BART TO THE FUTURE: Another look at the Simpsons' future, this time imagining Lisa as President and Bart as her shiftless brother, and Homer looking for Abe Lincoln's gold or something stupid like that...

Still, I don't think it was as bad as that one where the "real" Seymour Skinner came to town, pissing away all the development of an entire character for a really subpar storyline.

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#2 Posted on
I would have to say my pick for best episode was the one where Burns runs for Governor. Burns rules in that one.

I could do without Radio Bart on the list. I hated that one. Some notable omissions are the episode with Scorpio, and the episode where Lisa helps Homer bet on football games.

Also season 2 is the best Simpsons season.

"I just got pinned by a friggin twelve-year-old."

Kurt Angle

Since: 2.1.02
From: Ottawa, Ontario

Since last post: 273 days
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.87
However, because Barney parked the car between the World Trade Center towers, you will never see this episode again. Ever.

Maybe that's US only? Because I've seen that episode, and the apparently Never To Air Again 'NSync episode since September 11, 2001 a few times. I was surprised the first time, after hearing they weren't supposed to air anymore.

Perhaps others can clarify?

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DJ FrostyFreeze

Since: 2.1.02
From: Hawthorne, CA

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.95
Why werent we supposed to see ther N'Sync episode again? I saw it a couple weeks ago.

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Since: 2.1.02
From: MD, USA

Since last post: 1461 days
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.41


I completely agree with the top three.

I'd put the softball episode higher.

We also need the Sideshow Bob Airshow episode and the Dustin Hoffman episode.

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Polska kielbasa

Since: 17.3.02
From: Boston

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#6 Posted on
I'm always partial to the lemontree episode myself. "Stupid like a fox!"

Since: 28.4.02
From: Pittsburgh, PA

Since last post: 398 days
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#7 Posted on
There's a scene in the N'Sync episode (an even *better* cantidate for Worst Episode) where they blow up the MAD Magazine building and you get a shot with Alfred E. Nueman and some of the other trademark characters dead in the rubble. They seem to have decided that that one's okay now, because I've seen it in syndication, too.

And I don't think we'll see the WTC episode again until that season comes out on DVD. (And I think that was an 8th season episode, so it'll be a while.)

Here's a great one that's missing - Homer's Barbershop Quartet - the brilliant Beatles parody episode. "oh my god, oh my god, where did you get that brownie?!"

"Your enemy is not surrounding your country. Your enemy is ruling your country."
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Head cheese

Since: 16.1.02
From: New Hampshire

Since last post: 5513 days
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#8 Posted on

    Originally posted by cfgb
    However, because Barney parked the car between the World Trade Center towers, you will never see this episode again. Ever.

    Maybe that's US only? Because I've seen that episode, and the apparently Never To Air Again 'NSync episode since September 11, 2001 a few times. I was surprised the first time, after hearing they weren't supposed to air anymore.

    Perhaps others can clarify?

Nah, they still show it in the U.S. I'm almost positive I've seen it since 9/11/01.

As far as the list goes, those are some good ones, although I would have ranked 'em a lot differently. Good to see my personal fave, Cape Feare, in such a high spot.
Boudin rouge

Since: 3.1.02
From: People's Republic of Massachusetts

Since last post: 1894 days
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
I to am 99% sure to have seeing the NYC one since 9/11.

An episode I love is the when Bart Found the Comet. I just love the dialogue between Bart and Skinner in that one. Plus any episode where they blow the doomsday whistle is a good one in my book
Ten Millionth Hit

Since: 19.3.02
From: Ontario, Canada

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#10 Posted on
The only one in there that I don't have a favourable impression of is "Bart the Daredevil". I would also have had "Bart vs. Australia" in there, if for nothing else than the Hopping Mad Collection Agency. Rosebud also seems a little too high for my personal preferences, but that is still a great list.

I must resist the urge to make a list myself, because I know there's at least a few I'll leave off and curse myself for doing so.

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Shot in the dark

Since: 11.1.02
From: Houston

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#11 Posted on
Wow...neither of my two favorites are there...

Deep Space Homer and the Krusty Comeback episode. Both classics in my opinion.

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- Dave Letterman, January 6, 2003.

Since: 9.1.02
From: Babson Park, Ma

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
A couple of my favorites weren't up there.

You Only Move Twice: with super villian Hank Scorpio whose twin obsessions are World Domination and his employee's health.

Brother from Another Series: A sideshow bob episode with his brother from the frasier show

Lisa's Wedding: The superior future episode

My number one would have been Cape Feare

There pick for Bart to the Future as the worst episode ever is DEAD ON. I hate that episode with a passion.

The N*Sync episode gets a bad rap for having N*Sync in it. I thought it was pretty funny and good send up of boy bands. I mean, I'd watch it.

And I agree with Leech and Calvin, as I am almost certain that I've Seen Homer vs. New York in syndication in the last year and a half.


Since: 25.1.02
From: Chicagoland with Hoosiers, or "The Region"

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#13 Posted on
Add me to the "Seen City of NY vs HS" since 9/ fact I taped it, I was so surprised. It is in rotation.

"Marge vs. the Monorail" is your champ; I was pleased to see it so high on EW's list.

"How I Spent My Strummer Vacation" shouldn't be in the top 150, much less 25, but I guess EW wanted one from this season. The Marge bowling episode is pretty bad, too.

"Bart to the Future" isn't great, but it isn't THAT bad.

I know it's a cliche, but Worst. Episode. Ever.: "The Principal and the Pauper." Let us never speak of it again.

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Since: 12.5.02
From: Junction City OR.

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#14 Posted on
The Selma marries Troy McClure episode is my favorite. Troy spraying Binaca in Selma's mouth before kissing her and the Planet of the Apes the musical. I mean McClure singing,"Dr. Zaius Dr. Zaius ooh Dr. Zauis."
My least favorite episode besides some of the first seasons has to be the puppies episode. SLH and some other dog have like 19 puppies. Mr. Burns steals them to turn them into a jacket. 101 Dalmations sucked (animated or live) so the parody just didn't work for me.
I also don't really think that the Simpson's has really gone down hill as much as people say. I have found the recent episodes funny and liked the In-Sync episode. I mean Bart, Milhouse, Ralph, and Nelson attacking Iraq on their own and Saddam is scared? It really reminded me of all those dumb ass In-Sync BSB videos but was funny. Oh and their song YVAN EHT NIOJ as subliminal messaging was hilarious.

Marge I am just trying to get into heaven not run for Jesus.

Since: 3.1.02
From: Knoxville, TN

Since last post: 3784 days
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#15 Posted on
Homer at the Bat is, hands down, my favorite episode. However, it's hard to find people who have seen it around here... it's still an absolute classic.

I'm surprised there was only 1 Sideshow Bob episode on the list, to be honest. Although, of all the episodes, Cape Feare would've been the one. ("Could you sing the entire score of the HMS Pinefour?" Classic.)

I'm also surprised at the omission of Deep Space Homer, too. Although it wasn't my favorite, it was still really good.

Is "NY vs. Homer" when Homer takes off with the tire clamp on his car, or is that another episode I'm thinking of?

Brother from Another Series is great, as an inside joke, but I don't think it should be in the top 25. I'd rather have the Sideshow Bob fraud episode over that.

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Potato korv

Since: 29.4.02
From: Jax, FL

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#16 Posted on
Hey now, just because you didn't like 101 Dalmations doesn't mean it sucked, Dahak!
I'd definitely give my vote to Marge vs. The Monorail or A Fish Named Selma as deserving of the number one spot.

Andy Richter does indeed control the universe.
J. Kyle

Since: 21.2.02
From: The Land of Aloha

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#17 Posted on says:

Ozzie Smith is still missing.

WORD to the softball episode.

Scorpio got SCREWED.

Kind of off topic, but watching Futurama on Adult Swim at the same time as watching new episodes of the Simpsons is depressing as hell.

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Net Hack Slasher

Since: 6.1.02
From: Outer reaches of your mind

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#18 Posted on
I think the new episodes are still great. For pure brilliance, there was a take on artsy movies that they had 3 things happening at the same time being shown in 3 different segments. Homer chopping off his thumb being taken to the hospital/ Lisa having to get a ride with Krusty and taken to the wrong school/ Bart skipping class to go play with fire crackers. And they all ended up in the same spot. Hard to explain but brilliant... For funny I saw a newer episode of Homer being Mr. Burns "monkey" and doing whatever he says for money. And one scene was so insane that was too funny. Homer in a panda suit being put in a panda zoo hut during mating season. Just seeing Panda Homer body language going "no, no" is enough to make the episode.

My favourites that hasn't been listed

Worst Episode Ever (that's the title. lol)... Bart & Milhouse gets banned from the comic book shop because they told because they told Martins mom all of Martins star wars stuff was worth money including the alternative Star Wars ending "Luke's real father is CHEWBACCA!". The tried to sneak in with Homer and standing on each other make a tallman and Homer gets to the front door and says "Hello I'm Shaquille O'Neil". Then comic book guy gets a heart attack and the kid take care shop.

Radioactive Man... I guess I love Bart and Milhouse. The goggles do nothing.

Homers enemy... Really surprised the Frank Grimes episode hasn't' been listed. How could you not fall in love with Homer getting tricked participating in the childrens contest by building a model power plant and winning.

I will stop at 3 (for now) because I really can go on and on.

Oh they have the internet on computers now!

Since: 9.1.02
From: Virginia Beach Va

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#19 Posted on
I can confirm they still do show the WTC episode of the Simpsons. I saw it just a few weeks ago.

And I always liked the Ed Grimes episode. And the Mason Derriere one is another one of my favorites.

For worst episode, I really hated it when they killed off Maude Flanders.

Ya know how we do it, big balling and big blingin'....

Since: 29.1.02
From: PA

Since last post: 113 days
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#20 Posted on
I can remember Fox 25 up in New England showing the WTC episode sometime around Christmas '01, but that's the last time I've seen it on TV. Of course, it seems like the PA Fox channels play the same 30 or so episodes all the damned time, so that could be a factor.

I'd make a case for "Mensa takes over Springfield" as my least favorite episode.

Two of my favorites are Homer as the Beer Baron and The Simpsons housesitting for Mr. Burns when he goes to the Mayo Clinic. "3 Stooges Syndrome". "Look at how loud I have to yell!" Box socials. Talking to Thailand. But, my favorite line of that whole episode, after Marge is trying to figure out what to do with one particularly long-handled fork, Homer says, "Why, Marge, I believe you're supposed to scratch your ass with it." Awesomely good times.

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