“Simpson, Homer Simpson, he’s the greatest guy in history!”

I’ve been on a recent Simpsons kick lately – and by “recent” kick, I mean I’m working my way through all the episodes ever made – so far, I’ve watched Seasons 1-12 of 24 (25 starts in less than a month!)

To celebrate the half-way point of my progress, I decided to compile a list of my 12 favorite episodes thus far. This does not mean I think these are the best written or the most iconic episodes, merely the ones that stood out to me as being exceptionally funny, witty, and entertaining.

1. Marge Vs. the Monorail

Season 4, Episode 12
Celebrity Guest Stars: Leonard Nimoy

Highlight: The songs – opening spoof of The Flintstones theme song, and the “The Monorail Song” as a parody of the Music Man’s “Trouble”.

2. Last Exit to Springfield

Season 4, Episode 17
Celebrity Guest Stars: Dr. Joyce Brothers

Highlight: Homer becoming the newest Union Leader and misconstruing Mr. Burns’ strike negotiations as sexual advances.

3. A Streetcar Named Marge

Season 4, Episode 2
Celebrity Guest Stars: Jon Lovitz

Highlight: Tie between Ned Flanders as Stanley in the musical production of “Streetcar Named Desire” and Maggie’s daycare escape parody of The Great Escape.

4. 30 Minutes over Tokyo

Season 10, Episode 23
Celebrity Guest Stars: George Takei, Karen Maruyama

Highlight: The Simpson family participating in a spoof Japanese Game Show called “The Happy Smile Super Challenge Family Wish Show“.

The Episode never aired in Japan because the scene where Homer throws the Japanese Emperor into a dumpster of sumo thongs was considered disrespectful and offensive.

5. Duffless

Season 4, Episode 16
Celebrity Guest Stars: None

Highlight: Homer having to give up alcohol for a month after Marge determines he has a drinking problem.

Marge: “Homer, do you ever drink alone?”
Homer: “Does the Lord count as a person?

Also, this reference to A Clockwork Orange:

6. Kamp Krusty

Season 4, Episode 1
Celebrity Guest Stars: None

Highlight: Bart trying to score good final grades by returning all of his books in excellent condition, “in some cases, still in their original wrappings!”.

7. Lisa the Simpson

Season 9, Episode 17
Celebrity Guest Stars: None

Highlight: The scientific explanation that the defective “Simpson gene” lies only on the Y chromosome.

8. Treehouse of Horror IV

Season 5, Episode 5
Celebrity Guest Stars: Frank Welker

Highlight: So many. The fact that Ned Flanders shows up as the Devil in the short “The Devil and Homer Simpson” because “Its always the one you least expect“, or that the Devil and Bart casually greet each other as acquaintances, or that Homer can’t fit through the Portal to Hell.  And that’s just the first third of the episode.

9. The City of New York Vs. Homer Simpson

Season 9, Episode 1
Celebrity Guest Stars: Joan Kenley

Highlight: The Broadway show about The Betty Ford Clinic.

10 . Tales from Public Domain

Season 13, Episode 14
Celebrity Guest Stars: None

Highlight: The epic story choices – The Odyssey, Joan of Arc, and Hamlet.  And Ned Flanders as the King of Troy.

Ned (Upon receiving the wooden Trojan Horse): Now throughout history, when people get wood, they’ll think of Trojans!

11. You Only Move Twice

Season 8, Episode 2
Celebrity Guest Stars: Albert Brooks

Highlight: Homer unknowingly working for a supervillian named Scorpio and tackling Secret Agent James Bont, who is trying to stop the evil plans.

12. Weekend at Burnsie’s

Season 13, Episode 16
Celebrity Guest Stars: Phish

Highlight: Homer becoming the alpha male in a murder of crows.

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While I start research on the second half of this project, I recommend watching the honorable mention, a Treehouse of Horror short narrated by James Earl Jones: “The Raven”. (click on the picture below for the full video)

Quoth the Raven "eat my shorts"

Quoth the Raven “eat my shorts”