Random Top Ten
Random Top Ten!!
Top Ten Simpsons Episodes
10. Homer's Phobia
Homer frets that Bart may be gay, with an all-time great guest appearance by John Waters. I love that, in coming up with a gay character, the writers give us John, not a swishy, dramatic, cliched gay man, but a soft-spoken, very non-dramatic gay man who loves kitsch.
A Citizen Kane parody that I loved well before I understood that it was a Citizen Kane parody, and well before I ever saw Citizen Kane. Maybe Burns' best episode.
8. And Maggie Makes Three
Maggie's birth - one of the most touching Simpsons episodes ever. And the driving plot point of Homer finally being able to live his life's dream of working at (not owning, working at) a bowling alley is great.
7. You Only Move Twice
A superb episode that features a James Bond parody on the margins - Homer gets a great job, with a great boss who just happens to be a James Bond villain intent on ruling the world. That neither Homer nor any of the main characters ever figure this out is what makes it perfect.
6. Two Bad Neighbors
George W. Bush moves in across the street. That the show was able to pull off such a bizarre plot (and the sly nodding of that plot to the forced "guest star" episodes of sitcom tradition in which the regular characters implausibly interact with famous people; where else but in a cartoon could such a guest star be the ex-President of the United States?) is testimony to its genius.
5. Itchy and Scratchy and Poochie
A great parody of the sitcom trend of adding a character to spice up an aging show - the bits with the Simpsons new boarder Roy are hilarious.
4. Cape Feare
The best of the Sideshow Bob episodes, and the episode featuring the fable rake sequence.
3. Homer's Enemy
Another great meta-referencing episode, with a new employee at the plant reacting to Homer as we would if homer were real - shock, awe, and disgust.
2. A Streetcar Named Marge
The great Jon Lovitz' best showcase on the series, as the dramatic director of the community theater production of the musical version of A Streetcar Named Desire. Also the best musical numbers the show has produced.
1. Bart Sells His Soul
A canny and unbeatable blend of great humor (the b-plot of Moe turning his bar into a Bennigan's clone is great) and real pathos. And the church congregation singing In-A-Gada-Da-Vida. Classic.