This weekend marks the 66th birthday of The Simpsons creator Matt Groening. So to mark the occasion we thought we’d take a trip down Memory Lane via the Kwik-E-Mart and Krusty Burger, and do what nobody in their right mind would dare do; name their top ten episodes of The Simpsons! Enjoy!
10) Mr Plow (Season 4)
Plot: Springfield is hit by a blizzard while Homer is drinking at Moe’s (where else?). While on the way home, Homer’s is obscured by the snow and naturally crashes, writing off both of the family’s rides. But rather than picking up a sturdy Chevy, Homer decides to make a buck or two by saving Springfield from the snow by becoming ‘Mr Plow’ in his gigantic snowplow. Unfortunately, Barney gets a bigger one.
Why It’s Brilliant: Admit it – you can’t get the ‘Mr Plow’ jingle out of your head, can you?
9) Homer Vs The Eighteenth Amendment (Season 8)
Plot: After Bart accidentally gets drunk at Springfield’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, the town’s law enforcement realises that prohibition has actually been in place for years but has just never been enforced. Soon Springfield becomes a booze-free zone – that is, of course, apart from Moe’s pet shop/speakeasy. Homer, AKA The Beer Baron, gets into bootlegging with bowling balls and tries to evade the no-nonsense U.S. Treasury Department agent, Rex Banner.
Why It’s Brilliant: This episode is vintage Simpsons chaos with Homer showing more nous as The Beer Baron than he does in the rest of the show’s history. The first time we see Moe’s newly refurbed ‘Pet Shop’ never fails to raise a cackle too.
8) Homer the Heretic (Season 4)
Plot: Homer incurs the wrath of God (and Marge) by not only skipping church but also setting up his own religion which mainly consists of sitting down and necking beer. Soon enough, however, he accidentally burns down the house he decides being a deity is too much for him.
Why It’s Brilliant: It can be a little too preachy at times but it’s still a classic Homer-ccentric episode which reminds us all just how much we love him.
7) Cape Feare (Season 5)
Plot: The Simpsons are forced into Witness Protection and soon become The Thompsons as Sideshow Bob’s thirst for Bart blood reaches boiling point. Naturally Bob still manages to track the gang down and is only thwarted thanks to a grand rendition of HMS Pinafore.
Why It’s Brilliant: There are plenty of Sideshow Bob v Bart episodes, but we think this is the pinnacle of the rivalry. It’s packed with some genuine tension and the revamped Thompsons intro is brilliant. And then there’s the rakes – a Simpsons all-time classic gag.
6) Bart After Dark (Season 7)
Plot: When Marge and Lisa leave Homer and Bart on their own for a short while, the house becomes a tip and Bart has somehow managed to bag himself a job at the local burlesque house. Classic. Marge is furious and brings a town mob with her to try and burn the place down.
Why It’s Brilliant: The mob’s anger is eased by a pleasant ditty about putting the ‘spring’ in Springfield, and just as everyone is about to go home happy, Marge arrives with a bulldozer. Brilliant.
5) Lisa the Iconoclast (Season 7)
Plot: Jebediah Springfield is a legend like no other. Having founded the town The Simpsons call home, Lisa wants to find out more about the man and the myth. Unfortunately she learns more of the myth, discovering that he was actually a killer pirate named Hans Sprungfeld. Just as Lisa is about to spill the beans on the lies, she realises that Jebediah’s history is too important to the town, and keeps it to herself.
Why It’s Brilliant: It’s one of those rare sweet episodes The Simpsons does so well. But it is also hilarious – Homer becoming the Town Crier for example is absolute gold.
4) Who Shot Mr Burns? Parts 1 & 2 (Season 6 & 7)
Plot: In true ‘Who Shot Phil Mitchell?’ style, Mr Burns pisses everyone off when he uses a sun-blocking device in Springfield to raise his power planet profits, and somebody shoots him. Everyone’s a suspect from Moe to Comic Book Guy. But who could it be? The baby, of course!
Why It’s Brilliant: There’s some brilliant jokes over the course of the two episodes. The best being Homer spray-painting ‘My name is Homer Simpson’ in massive letters on Mr Burns’ wall, only for him to respond, “Who the devil are you?” Regardless of the gags, it’s one of the most memorable episodes of The Simpsons ever.
3) Marge vs The Monorail (Season 4)
Plot: After Mr Burns is forced to pay Springfield $3 million, the town meets to discuss what they should spend it on. Enter shiny con-man Lyle Lanley, who manages to sell the town a shoddy and completely unnecessary Monorail.
Why It’s Brilliant: This catchy ass song…
2) You Only Move Twice (Season 8)
Plot: This James Bond spoof episode follows Homer as he’s offered a big promotion at Globex Corporation (solely because Smithers doesn’t want it and Homer is the next longest serving power plant employee). Homer takes his family to a town called Cypress Creek where he meets a super-villain named Hank Scorpio.
Why It’s Brilliant: The Simpsons does spoofs better than any TV show around and this is the ultimate of that genre. The truly epic episode is as heart-warming as it is hilarious with guest star Albert Brooks ad-libbing much of the dialogue.
1) Homer the Great (Season 6)
Plot: Homer discovers that essentially every single male in Springfield is part of a secret perk-filled society known as the Stonecutters. Led by a man named Number One (played by Patrick Stewart), the Stonecutters soon kick Homer out after he unwittingly destroys their Hallowed Sacred Parchment. But on being stripped of his clothes and dignity, the society soon notice Homer has a birthmark shaped like their emblem. He is soon labelled the ‘Chosen One’. Of course, Homer abuses his power and gets kicked out once again.
Why It’s Brilliant: Not only do we think this the best Simpsons episode ever made, we also think it’s an out and out classic episode of any TV genre. The jokes are hilarious, the story is brilliant and there’s even some satire thrown in for good measure. But mainly we love it for this even catchier ass song…
For more 90’s TV inspiration, take a look at what we think are the best ever episodes of The Jerry Springer Show!