Monday, March 2, 2009

Best Simpsons Episodes Part III

Alright, time for part III of of Simpsons best episodes countdown. Today we have tier II. These episodes didn't quite make the final cut, but are definitely still classics. The last two tiers only contain 24 total episodes, so we are surely (not Surly) down to the nitty-gritty.
Here we go. I think this list will bring back several fond memories and laughs.

TIER 2 B Episodes

Who Shot Mr. Burns Parts 1&2 - I'll put these together even though they were separated by months, painful months of waiting for the answer. These episodes, obvious homage to Dallas, were not outrageously funny, especially the second, which was more story telling and flashbacks, but they were definitely a huge event. I can only think of a few times in my lifetime where a TV show was an actual event, an instance where it was cover in the news and in magazines and mentioned on other shows. The ones I can remember are the OJ chase, the finale of the first season of Survivor, when someone finally won a million of Who wants to be a millionaire, and to a lesser extent the Seinfield finale and American Idol finale with Reuben and Clay. And Who Shot Mr. Burns? was right up there with them. I think it was also one of the first times I was a aware of the concept of a season long cliff-hanger. Man.
A few highlights:
The whole thing was begun by the unfortunate death of Superdude.
All the students and faculty giving suggestions for what to do with the money
Otto: One of those guitars, that are like, double guitars, you know?
And the whole gag with Mr. Burns not knowing Homer's name. I even used this line as a title to one of my Brewers posts.
  Ned: Dear Lord!  That's the loudest profanity I've ever heard.

Bart's Inner Child- I think this one often gets forget in the slew of so many great episodes, but this is worthy of such a high place. It's almost a two parter episode, the first with the trampoline, the second with the self-help guru Brad Goodman who tells ever on to be like Bart.
Has all the ingredients of a classic Simpsons episode - Homer doing something ridiculous, producing a ridiculous plot, family troubles, and a scathing parody of modern culture and commercialism.
The "human go-ing" line is one of my favorites as well as the chase of Homer and Bart
Skinner: Damn...they're very slowly getting away!
Moe: They're heading for the old mill!
Homer: No we're not.
Moe: Well, let's go to the old mill anyway -- get some cider!

Treehouse of Horror V - Best Halloween ep ever!
The Shinning. That's pretty much all I have to say.
The Homer in time one was good too, but the last one about Lunchlady Doris prevents in from being top tier.

Mr. Plow - Iconic Episode. That is the only way to put it. Doesn't have too many super-funny parts though that I remember well, maybe because I remember the whole episode, but that is why it is not top tier.
The bit with Adam West was great. And Homer driving (drunk?) home in the snow and hitting the other family car "at least I got him as bad as he got me" was great. Oh, and I forgot this one, when talking to the insurance agent:
``Moe's'' you left just before the accident.  This is a business of
some kind?
Homer: [thinks] Don't tell him you were at a bar! Gasp! But what else
is open at night?
[aloud] It's a pornography store. I was buying pornography.
[thinks] Heh heh heh. I would'a never thought of that.

And don't forget the whip sound the salesman (Vlaclav) used to get Homer to buy the plow truck
And it ends with Homer saving Barney and renewing their friendship and then a joke about God
Yep, sounds like classic Simpsons.

TIER 2 A Episodes

These are the closest of the close to the top tier. After much thoughtful debate, they came up short. But, just to make it clear home close, we will begin our unofficial countdown here. Exciting

(19) Homer's Enemy
Season 8
In my opinion, the last great Simpson's episode. I know it is only the 8th season, but I stand by this statement. As this list will show, most of the best episodes are seasons 3-7 or and you could even say 4-6. But this was the episode about Frank Grimes and Homer. Frank, a hard working, self made man, asked the questions we ourselves may have asked about Homer. How does he have such a nice job, house, family, the American dream, and do amazing things and meet amazing people when he is so.......dumb? The outside perspective is definitely interesting.

(18) Blood Feud -
Season 2
Interesting pairing with the previous one, as this episode I believe is the first great Simpsons episode. It's when it becomes more than just a funny kid's show. This episode was actually aired the summer between seasons 2 and 3.
And as for the funny stuff goes, all I really have to do is mention the giant head Xtapolapocetl.

Lots of other funny stuff too, Lisa giving Maggie ridiculously hard flash cards, Homer attempting to water the mail and pretend to be Mr. Burns.
Homer: [trying to disguise his voice]
Hello, my name is Mr. Burns. I believe you have a letter for me.
Postal Clerk: Okay, Mr. Burns, uh, what's your first name?
Homer: [brief pause] I don't know.

Also we got a nice example of Mr. Burns trying to be nice after he got better from Bart's blood.
Burns: Oh, top of the morning to ye!  Why, look who's here!
It's ... good old... You!
Man: Hi, Mr. Burns.
Burns: Oh, hey there, Mr. uh... Brown-Shoes! How about that ..
local sports team!

And good advice for us all
Moe:    What's the matter, Homer?  You're not your normal effervescent self.
Homer: I got my problems, Moe. Give me another one.
Moe: Homer, hey. You should not drink to forget your problems.
Barney: Yeah. You should only drink to enhance your social skills. [belch]

(17) Cape Feare -
Season 5
I may be in the minority here, but I am not really a fan of Sideshow Bob. That being said, this is a classic episode. This is the one where Sideshow Bob gets paroled and tries to kill Bart. This puts the Simpsons in the Witness Protection Program and hilarity ensues, well actually, the first half of the episode was funnier.
Lots of good stuff:
McBain as a standup Comic
Sideshow Bob's "German" tattoo
Bart's reasonable paranoia
Um, I checked around.  The girls are calling you "fatty-fat fat fat",
and Nelson's planning to pull down your pants, but...nobody's trying to
kill ya.
-- Milhouse

Marge: [threateningly] Bart, I am going to _get_ you...[brandishes
some scissors
Bart: [gasps]
Marge: [cheerfully] ...some ice cream at the store, since I'm saving
so much money on Diet Cola! [holds up a coupon]
[Scene switches to Flanders outside]
Flanders: [threateningly] Say your prayers, Simpson...[brandishes a
glove with knives on the fingers
Bart: [gasps]
Flanders: [cheerfully] ...because the schools can't force you like they
should! [clips the hedge] Maude, these new finger razors make
hedge trimming as much fun as sitting through church.
[Scene switches to Bart's classroom]
Edna: [threateningly] You're going to be my murder victim, Bart...
Bart: [gasps]
Edna: [sweetly] our school production of "Lizzie Borden",
starring Martin Prince as Lizzie.

And one of my favorite scenes ever
Agent: Tell you what, sir.  From now on, you'll be, uh, Homer Thompson
at Terror Lake. Let's just practise a bit, hmm? When I say,
"Hello, Mr. Thompson," you'll say, "Hi."
Homer: Check.
Agent: Hello, Mr. Thompson.
Homer: [stares blankly]
Agent: Remember now, your name is Homer Thompson.
Homer: I gotcha.
Agent: Hello, Mr. Thompson.
Homer: [stares blankly]
[A long time later]
Agent: [sighs in frustration] Now, when I say, "Hello, Mr. Thompson,"
and press down on your foot, you smile and nod.
Homer: No problem.
Agent: Hello, Mr. Thompson! [stomps on Homer's foot a few times]
Homer: [stares blankly]
[to other agent] I think he's talking to _you_.

Not a big fan of the ending though.

(16) Marge in Chains -
Season 4
The one where Marge goes to jail.
This one is great from start to finish. It begins with Troy McClure and Dr. Nick selling juicers - Juices Looseners. Wow. Great start. The juicers coming from Japan and contain the dreaded Osaka Flu. Everyone gets sick but Marge. She is super stressed and accidentally steals bourbon.
Has a classic things-running-repeated-through-head
Mom we need more OJ - Flinestones Chewable Morphine - Sherrif Lobo - Bourbon
Also the best, and this is saying something, appearance of Lionel Hutz.
So MANY GREAT QUOTES. I will list them all for your reading enjoyment, but really watch the episode.

Lionel Hutz: Hiring me as your attorney, you'll also receive this free smoking monkey.
[places a toy monkey with a cigarette in it's mouth on the desk]
Marge: Mr Hutz.
Lionel Hutz: Look... he's taking another puff!

Lionel Hutz: Now don't you worry, Mrs. Simpson, I... uh-oh. We've drawn Judge Snyder.
Marge: Is that bad?
Lionel Hutz: Well, he's had it in for me ever since I kinda ran over his dog.
Marge: You did?
Lionel Hutz: Well, replace the word "kinda" with the word "repeatedly," and the word "dog" with "son."

Lionel Hutz: Now, Apu, Mrs. Simpson claims that she *forgot* that bottle of... delicious... bourbon. Brownest of the brown liquors... so tempting.
[holds the bottle to his ear]
Lionel Hutz: [whispering] What's that? You want me to drink you? But I'm in the middle of a trial!
[puts it down]
Lionel Hutz: Excuse me.
[he runs out of the courtroom, finds a payphone and quickly dials]
Lionel Hutz: Hello, David? I'm really tempted!
David Crosby: Just take it one day at a time, and know that I love you.
Lionel Hutz: I love you too, man.

   So, Mr. Nahasapeemapetilon, if that  your real name...
in fact, I wasn't wearing a tie at all!

Lisa: You're a latter-day Clarence Darrow!
Hutz: Uh, was he the black guy on the Mod Squad?

If there's one thing America needs, it's more lawyers.

Judge:Mr. Hutz, do you know you're not wearing any pants?
Lionel Hutz
:What? AAH! I move for a bad court thingy.
Judge:You mean a mistrial?
Lionel Hutz:Yeah... that's why you're the judge, and I'm the law... talkin'... guy.

Awesome. And like any great Simpsons episode, there is a great, somewhat ludicrous, yet heartfelt ending, this one with a Jimmy Carter statue being adorned with Marge Simpson Hair. Fitting end.

(15) Bart the Lover -
Season 3
Another episode with the classic Simpsons set-up. Ridiculous intro - yo-yos- leads to one of the Simpsons doing something funny that may hurt others - Bart answering Mrs. K's add - they feel bad and usually in a funny way make it better - writing the last letter. Fast paced start, slower middle and end allowing for character development.
That is the formula for a great episode.

Oh, forgot that before the yo-yos this episode started with a Troy McClure filmstrip about Zinc.

How could you not love this episode?
Gordy Howe
Woodrow Wilson
Maybe it's the beer talking Marge but you got a butt that won't quit.
they got those big chewy pretzels here merJanthfgrr five dollars??!!!?
get outta here [scrawl]
Strap your skates on Gordie, you're going in.
P.S. I am gay.

The B story was great too, with Homer attempting to give up swearing.
   Maude: Todd, would you like some mixed vegetables?
Todd: Hell, no!
Ned+Maude+Rod: [gasp!]
Maude: What did you say?
Todd: I said I didn't want any damn vegetables.
Ned: All right, that's it, young man. No Bible stories for you tonight!
Todd: [leaves, crying]
Maude: [to Ned] Weren't you a little hard on him?
Ned: Well, you knew I had a temper when you married me.

Rod:  At last we built the mission.
Todd: Finally, the villagers have a place to pray.
Rod: [sings] Bringing in the sheaves!
Todd: [sings] Bringing in the sheaves!
Rod+Todd: We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves!

Homer: Hey, Marge. You wanna hear something funny? Flanders thinks I
swear too much! Hee-hee! ... Marge, you're not laughing.
Marge: Well, you know, maybe he's right.
Homer: Well, what a surprise! Marge sticks up for Flanders!
Can we have conversation where you don't bring up your hero,
Ned Flanders?
Marge: Actually, Homer, brought up Ned Flan---
Homer: Look, we're past that.

That will require a tetanus shot.

In the end, the Simpson family comes together and there is an actual happy ending.
If anyone can find the Simpsons Gordie Howe picture, please let me know .

Career Totals               Games      Goals     Assists     Pts.

National Hockey League 1767 801 1049 1850
World Hockey Association 419 174 334 508
Major League Totals 2186 975 1383 2358

(14) Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baddasssss Song -
Season 5
Similar formula to the previous two episodes - Simple beginning turns ridiculous, Simpsons must solve problem they created, sincere, funny ending.
This episode is hilarious. SO close to to the top tier. The first half of the episode was amazing, so funny throughout, but the second half didn't hold up, a bit dull in fact. Best part at the end was Flanders being fired due to saying a prayer in a public school.

As for the first half, I really don't know where to begin, that's how good it is, so....

The scene opens a la "Wonder Years" with "With a Little Help from My
Friends" being covered in the background. A young Homer washes his
muscle car with his fairly new girlfriend Marge. He grins at the camera
as Marge turns the hose on him, dousing him. Homer has neglected to put
the parking brake on in his car, it would seem: it rolls off the
driveway and onto the street.

In the next shot, it is Homer's birthday. As Abe and Marge watch,
bearded Homer opens Marge's present -- a book about beards. Delighted,
he shows it to the camera, then leans forward to blow out the candles on
his cake. But his beard catches fire, and he runs back and forth in a
panic while Marge worries and Abe laughs.

[Bart watches a home movie of Homer's birthday]
Bart: [laughs] They're going to eat this up at Show and Tell.
Marge: I'm not sure if I'm comfortable with the idea of your
classmates laughing at our family's private moments. How
would you like it if, twenty years from now, people were
laughing at things _you_ did?
Bart: Not likely. Come on, have a sense of humor about yourself!
[the movie turns to baby Bart, naked, sitting on the
Young Bart: I'm a big boy today.

Lisa laughs, and Bart sees reason. He looks around for something else
to take to school, and Marge suggests a largish potato. "Mom, you're
always trying to give me potatoes. What is it with you?" Marge
explains, "I just think they're neat." Bart runs up to Lisa's room.

Bart: I need something for Show and Tell.
Lisa: Just take one of my geodes.
[Bart stares blankly]
The rocks on my desk.
[Bart goes over, picks up something]
No, that's a trilobyte.
[Bart picks up something else]
That's petrified wood.
[Bart picks up something else]
Bart, that's a bran muffin!

Otto honks the bus horn outside, and Bart and Lisa walk out to it. As
Bart steps on the bus with his geode in hand, he notices everyone else
has brought geodes, including Martin, who says, "Greetings, fellow
geodologist!" Bart groans, steps off the bus, and looks around for
something else to take. His eye falls on Santa's Little Helper; he
tears the dog away from chewing up the morning paper.

In class, {it is Nelson's turn at Show and Tell.}

Nelson: {The ingredients were: fresh pureed tomatoes, water, salt, and
sodium benzoate used to retard spoilage. Once again, if I'm
not mistaken, this can contained tomato paste.}
Edna: {Thank you, Nelson. I look forward to seeing it again next
week.} Bart, you're up.
[Bart walks up as a cardboard box follows him]
Bart: Boys and girls, Mrs. Krabappel, I come before you today to
solve a riddle that has plagued mankind for centuries: What
has four legs and ticks?
Milhouse: A walking clock?
Nelson: A walking clock!
Martin: I'd wager he has some variety of walking clock in that box!
Edna: Bart, is it a walking clock?
Bart: [mystified] What? No, it's my dog.
-- That was my next guess, "Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baadasssss Song"

Everyone gasps with delight.

Edna: [looking at SLH] Oh, he is a gem! Here boy. [kisses] Would
you like these cookies Martin made for me?
Martin: My raisin roundies!
Bart: My dog's name is Santa's Little Helper. One time he crawled
under the house and when he came out he was covered with ants.
Then he ran into a church and drank all the holy water.
Everyone: Wow!

Mrs. Krabappel thanks Bart: "Great job!" Everyone cheers as he walks
off. "I knew the dog before he came to class," brags Milhouse.

Martin walks up, places his geode on the floor, and narrates

Martin: Kaboom! That, the sound of the thunderous volcanic explosion
that gives birth to the magnificent geode, one of nature's
most --
Nelson: You're doing it wrong. You gotta pet him hard so he can feel
[he demonstrates; SLH sneezes]
Sherri: Look, look, look! The doggie sneezed.
Edna: Hah! It thinks it's people.
Willy: [on the other side of the door] Hey, poochie! Here, poochie,
poochie, poochie!
Martin: Ahem. My geode must be acknowledged!
Edna: [angrily] Oh, brother. All right, back to Show and Tell!
Bart, why don't you put the doggie away.
Everyone: Aw.

Bart leads SLH to a closet and shuts the door on him.

Later, SLH awakes to smell something good coming from the vent. Lunch
lady Doris' soup that day is particularly redolent, no doubt due to
extra helping of horse testicles she's added to it. "More testicles mean more iron!" she exclaims. SLH can't resist, and he paws the vent
open and crawls inside. He crawls past the grade two room.

Ralph: Um, Miss Hoover? There's a dog in the vent.
Hoover: Ralph, remember the time you said Snagglepuss was outside?
Ralph: He was going to the bathroom.

Principal Skinner is on the phone in his office to the superintendent.

Skinner: [on the phone] I know Weinstein's parents were upset, uh,
superintendent, but, but -- but I was _sure_ it was a phony
excuse. I mean, it sounds so made up: "yom kip pur". [laughs
Willy: [bursting in] Sir, you've got to come quick! There's a dog
running around in the air ducts.
Skinner: I understand. [over PA] Children, this is Principal Skinner.
Remain calm. There is a dog in the vents.
[In Bart's class, everyone cheers and gallavants]

Willy pushes Skinner's desk over to the corner of the room for Skinner
to stand on. He removes the vent cover and sticks his head into the
vent. SLH licks his face happily and wanders off.

Skinner: Willy, go into the vent and get him.
Willy: What? Have you gone waxy in your peaster? I cannot fit in
tha' wee vent, you croquet-playing mint muncher.
Skinner: Grease yourself up and go in, guff-speaking work-
Willy: Ooh, good comeback.

Willy approaches lunch lady Doris and asks her if they have any grease.
When she replies in the affirmative, he strips his shirt off and asks to
be greased up.

It really is a tight squeeze for him in the ventilation system. He sees
a flash of brown cross the T junction at the end of the shaft in front
of him; behind him, at the other end, he sees another flash of brown
shortly after. Skinner monitors Willy's and SLH's flashing dot on a
radar screen. "Good Lord, it's coming up right behind him!"

Although SLH has no malevolent intentions. He simply licks Willy's foot
repeatedly, but Willy is ticklish and begin laughing hysterically.
Several children are standing just under where he laughs, and they toss
books and other things at the vent, denting the metal. Willy implores
them to stop.

Skinner rushes out and orders everyone back to their room. "Uh oh.
Whenever I get this upset, I get hiccups! (hic) Oh, right on cue..." he
moans, and everyone points and laughs.

Willy, meanwhile, has managed to orient himself so that he faces SLH,
who runs away from him. But the wily Scotsman manages to catch up and
snag the stray mutt.

Willy: There's nary an animal alive that can outrun a greased Scotsman.
Now, out we go --
[pushes vent cover out; the cover hits the gymnasium floor far
below. The vent begins to pull from the roof
Urg...'tis more dizzying than the belfry at St. Caliga

The fire department is called in to try to rescue the trapped pair.
Chief Wiggum arrives, greeting the basketball-playing Eddie and Lou
with, "That's nice work, boys." Mrs. Krabappel sees superintendent
Chalmers arriving and takes great glee in pointing this out to the still
hiccuping Skinner.

Chalmers: [voice rising] Skinner...!
Skinner: Superintendent Chalmers! You didn't have to come all the way
down here. Everything's under control.
[fireman falls off ladder, which smashes the gym window]
Chalemers: Oh, I have had it, I have _had_ it with this school, Skinner!
The low test scores, class after class of ugly, ugly children
Skinner: Oh, now I really think the children's appearance --
Chalmers: Seymour, you are in very, _very_ big trouble.
[SLH falls into his arms]
Why, looking into this lovable mutt's eyes just melts my
heart. Seymour, all is forgiven.
Willy: [yells] Make way for Willy! [lands on Chalmers] I said "Make
way for Willy," you bloated gasbag.
Chalmers: Seymour...
Skinner: Hmm?
Chalmers: You're fired!
[Bart gasps]
Skinner: I'm sorry, did...did you just call me a liar?
Chalmers: No, I said you were fired.
Skinner: Oh. That's much worse.

Skinner has become one of my top 5, maybe even top 3 favorite characters. Check out the scene where he is on the phone, he is so sweaty.
I've put the best lines in bold, just in case some people did not want to read the entire act. This ep is so full, there really isn't a B story.
And don't get me wrong, the rest of the ep is good, just not as good, definitely check out Skinner's detergent scene. Funny, funny stuff.

Wow, we had so GREAT ones today, the last three in particular. They were so close, but the countdown gets even better! Tune in next time for the TOP 13 Simpsons Episodes.
Holla back!


Thorzul said...

Great stuff! The Lionel Hutz lines make me laugh out loud.
So, I can foresee a couple of the tops tier episodes: There's still 32 Short Films About Springfield ("steamed hams'") and the Hank Scorpio one.
Oh, and the baseball one. Ozzie Smith photographing E=MC^2. Nice

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