PopcultureAsylum‘s Must Watch Episodes For The Every Simpsons Ever Marathon
The Simpsons have been around for 25 years. They’ve been around for 4 presidential administrations (3 of which served 2 terms each), outlived numerous TV shows, and contributed to several pop culture history-making moments. In addition, they’ve stared in several videogames spanning since the old NES games, had a Lego set, sold fictional food products to tie into their movie, and had some theme park rides in their honor. The 552 episodes began airing non-stop yesterday on FXX and with the addition of The Simpson’s movie, it will take 12 full days to go through the entire catalog. Unfortunately sleep and work will likely get in the way of many fun episodes, so if you are the owner of a DVR, this is when you get to put it to major work. Although a few super-early classics such as “Stark Raving Dad”, “Flaming Moe’s”, “Bart Gets and F” have already passed through, there’s still plenty to be excited about in the coming days of the mega-marathon. Like many fans, I believe the show’s best years are definitely behind them, but staying on the air since 1990 is no small task….there’s people drinking in bars now that weren’t even born when the show first aired. So among reliving the show’s best days, it’s also kind of nice to see a few episodes that I’ve missed in the mid-2000s when I mostly stopped watching. As I’ve mentioned earlier, it’ll be impossible to binge-watch all the episodes, so here’s a few of my suggestions for which episodes to catch during the marathon (or to DVR as some of these will be in the late night and wee hours of Friday night and Saturday morning.)
“Cape Feare” (Season 5, episode 2)- This has to be one of my favorite Side-Show Bob vs Bart episodes. After receiving threatening letters written in blood (“Use a Pen Side-Show Bob”- Snake), the Simpsons are put into a witness protection program after Bob is out of prison. Of course, this is a send up of Martin Scorcese’s movie Cape Fear…but with many, many, rake stepping gags.
Treehouse of Horror (various seasons)– Take your pick; these Halloween-centric episodes are among the best of the Simpsons episodes. Some of my favorites: Treehouse of Horror V (which involves a parody of The Shining, Homer time-traveling with a toaster and a Soylent Green-esque spin on after school detention) Treehouse of Horror VI (Willie as Freddy Kruger!!), Treehouse of Horror II (The Bart Zone and The Monkey’s Paw), and of course, Treehouse of Horror IV (Flanders is the Devil!!!!).
“Marge Vs The Monorail” (Season 4, Episode 12)- Before he was a late night talk show host, Conan O’Brien was a writer for The Simpsons. This is probably his best episode and arguably one of the greatest in the show’s history. A Leonard Nimoy guest appearance makes it even better! Also worth watching is Homer Goes to College just for Sir-Oinks-A lot. Really, just watch all of the Conan penned episodes!
Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Season 6/Season 7)- This two-part episode ended and started seasons 6 and 7 respectively is a classic whodunit episode with an unpredictable reveal.
Homer vs The 18th Amendment (Season 8, Episode 18)– It’s Homer vs. Prohibition and being a beer aficionado I am required to love this episode. Fortunately it’s a great episode.
Itchy and Scratchy and Poochie (Season 8, episode 14)- When the Itchy and Scratchy show’s ratings in decline, the show’s producers decide to bring in Poochie; a hip dog whom is voiced by Homer.
Deep Space Homer (Season 5, Episode 15)- Homer getting sent to space and eating potato chips in zero gravity is worth watching alone.
Mr Plow (Season 4, Episode 9) – Arguably one of the best episodes ever, Homer gets a snow plow and starts a side job, which goes well until his drinking buddy Barney sets up a more successful snowplowing job. Plus there’s a great Adam West cameo.
Lisa The Vegetarian (Season 7, Episode 5) – “Don’t kid yourself Jimmy. If a cow had the chance he’d eat you and everyone you cared about”- Troy McClure. This is probably one of the best presentations of the so-called “omnivore’s dilemma” in which Lisa feels guilt about where meat comes from and decides to become a vegetarian.
Rosebud (Season 5, Episode 4) – Mr Burns has constantly been played off as a parody of Charles Foster Kane, but this episode is the most blatant display. Mr. Burns a man whom could buy anything in the world wants one thing…his long lost Teddy Bear, which now belongs to baby Maggie.
The Springfield Files (Season 8, Episode 10) – The thing about this episode is that it’ll make you miss the X-Files. Homer encounters an alien in the woods but nobody believes him, not even Agent Scully or Agent Mulder! Plus when the alien says “I bring love” Lenny replies “He brings us love, let’s get him!!” and creates an angry mob is really funny still.
I Love Lisa (Season 4, Episode 15) – This episode gave birth to the famed “I Choo-Choose You” Valentine’s Day card (It has a train on it!). Poor outcast Ralph Wiggum receives no valentines so Lisa takes pity on him and gives him one, but unfortunately it just causes Ralph to relentlessly pursue her affection (I know the feel Ralph..I know the feel).
Bart To The Future (Season 11, Episode 17)- There’s been a handful of glimpses into the future of the Simpsons, but this one is my favorite. Lisa is President, Bart is in a band with his roommate Ralph, and Millhouse works for Lisa but is still hopelessly in love with her.
Bart vs. Australia (Season 6, Episode 16)- I’ve always loved this episode. Bart prank calls a family in Australia and gets sued for the phone bill.