When it comes to staying on the television airwaves, nobody does it better than The Simpsons. The show started out in 1987 as an animated short on The Tracey Ullman Show and 457 episodes and 21 seasons later, The Simpsons has become America’s longest running sitcom. Over the past two decades, The Simpsons have influenced all of our lives in some way — including the fact that we all use d’oh as part of our daily vocabulary.
1. Stark Raving Dad. Original Airdate: September 19, 1991.
This episode, better known as the Michael Jackson episode, features one of the more hilarious moments of Homer Simpson’s life. He arrives to the Nuclear Power Plant in a pink shirt, is deemed a free-thinking anarchist, and is therefore sent to a mental asylum. His roommate is a giant, white (yellow?) bald man who is convinced he is the real Michael Jackson. Many people didn’t know that it was the actual Jackson that did the voice for Leon Kompowski. The impersonator’s real name was seen on the credits as John Jay Smith.
Homer: How do you do that thing with your feet?
Leon: You mean the moonwalk?
Homer: No! That thing with your feet!
2. Hurricane Neddy. Original Airdate: December 29, 1996.
Over the first eight seasons, we all grew to love the Simpsons neighborino, Ned Flanders. His bright outlook on life gave Homer fits and his born-again attitude gave us all something to believe in. But when a hurricane hits Springfield and Ned’s house is the only one destroyed, we see a dark side of Ned that we’ve never seen before. After a comical attempt to rebuild Ned’s house by the entire city, we see him lose his mind, insult everyone in the town, and crash through the gates of a mental institution. His dark, hidden past is finally revealed.
Ned: Now calm down, Ned-dily-diddly-diddly-diddly… they did their best, shoddily-iddly-iddly-diddly… gotta be *nice*, hostily-iddly-diddly-iddly…
Ned: Ah *hell* diddly-ding-dong-crap! Can’t you morons do anything right?!
3. Homer versus the Eighteenth Amendment. Original Airdate: March 16, 1997.
Following a St. Patrick’s day parade that featured Irish authors beating up townsfolk, Apu and Kirk Van Houten undressing, and Bart Simpson getting drunk on live television, the city of Springfield come across an old document that states a prohibition law has been around for 200 years and needs to be enforced. Homer and Bart concoct a scheme using the bowling alley and Moe’s tavern to distribute alcohol around the town. Not only that, but we see one of the best guest appearances in Rex Banner, a no-nonsense private eye who sounds like Dick Tracy and is eventually catapulted.
Homer: To alcohol! The cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.
4. Homerpalooza. Original Airdate: May 16, 1996.
When Homer gets knocked in the stomach by a cannon propelled inflatable pig, he is discovered by the festival head of Hullabalooza and becomes the headliner for the traveling freak show as the Iron Stomach: a man capable of taking cannonballs to the mid-section without dying. The episode had many notable guests that included The Smashing Pumpkins, Cypress Hill, Peter Frampton, and Sonic Youth. Each of them had a hilarious moment.
Billy Corgan: Hi, Billy Corgan, Smashing Pumpkins.
Homer: Homer Simpson, smiling politely.
5. Who Shot Mr. Burns, part one and two. Original Airdate: May 21, 1995.
After Mr. Burns goes on to piss off an entire town of people, he completes his douchebaggery by blocking out the sun and forcing the townspeople to only use nuclear energy. Following that, he is found a few minutes later collapsed and shot on the town sundial. This was the only two-part episode in Simpsons history and was easily one of the most suspense-filled.
Mr. Burns: Since the beginning of time, man has yearned to destroy the sun. I shall do the next best thing: block it out.
6. Homer the Great. Original Airdate: January 8, 1995.
After finding out about a secret organization known as the Stonecutters that controls all of society’s decisions, Homer starts a frantic search to find out how he can join. He finds out that Abe Simpson is a member and he is allowed in due to a relative being a member. Homer makes unnecessary changes to the society, and after a meeting of the minds of the Stonecutter’s elders, they decide to make a new society: The No Homer’s club.
Grampa: I’m an elk, a Mason, a communist. I’m the president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance for some reason. Ah, here it is. The Stonecutters.
Homer: This is it! My ticket in: they have to let me in if I’m the son of a member. I’ll take this communist one too.
7. Marge vs. The Monorail. Original Airdate: January 14, 1993.
After an acquisition of three million dollars by the city, the townspeople of Springfield get to decide what the money shall be spent on. A number of suggestions are brought up before a smooth talking out-of-towner named Lyle Lanley brings up the idea of a monorail system in Springfield. Marge does some research and finds out about the dark past of the monorail’s influence in other cities and sees that the monorail is a one way ticket to hell.
Homer:Donuts….is there anything they can’t do?
8. Mr. Plow. Original Airdate: November 19, 1992.
When Homer stumbles across a snowplow during a car show, he is immediately smitten, and goes into the business of plowing during a harsh winter in Springfield. He comes up with a commercial and probably the most memorable song of the entire Simpsons franchise, the Mr. Plow song.
Homer: Mr. Plow, that’s my name, that name again is Mr. Plow.
9. Round Springfield. Original Airdate: April 20, 1995.
When Bart goes to the hospital for eating a jagged metal Krusty-O, Lisa comes across her Jazz hero, Bleeding Gums Murphy, in a hospital bed. The two bond and share music, ideas, and an overall love for Jazz. With a little help from Bart, a small-time Jazz radio station, and God, Bleeding Gums Murphy’s music is heard and appreciated throughout the city. Murphy appears in the cloud, ala Musafa from The Lion King, and Lisa jams out to Jazzman.
James Earl Jones: This is CNN.
Mufasa: You must avenge me young Kimba – I mean Simba.
Darth Vader: Luke I am your father.
10. Homers Barbershop Quartet.
When Bart runs across an album depicting Homer, Principal Skinner, Barney, and Apu, we learn the story of Homer’s barbershop quartet: The B Sharps. For one last time, the four assemble on the roof of Moe’s Tavern and sing “Baby on Board” (to the dismay of the Human Fly and George Harrison).
George Harrison: Hello, Homer, I’m George Harrison.
Homer: Oh my God! Where did you get that brownie?