The first 10 seasons of The Simpsons are often considered by fans as containing the classic episodes of the animated sitcom. These seasons contained the most original storylines, drawn from the heart of the writers. Many of The Simpsons original writers were heavily involved with the show during these seasons. As a result, some of the show’s greatest episodes were produced between season one and season 10.
Many of these episodes solidified the characters’ personalities, fears, traumas and desires, while also establishing their relationships with each other. The creative attention put into these episodes would be the defining legacy of one of history’s greatest television shows.
10 Season 6: Bart Vs Australia
As the seasons went on, The Simpsons began to lean on silly episodes above poignant ones. “Bart Vs Australia” is one such silly episode where Bart manages to anger the entire nation of Australia. The US government sends him and his family to Australia to publicly apologize and fix the rift Bart’s actions have caused.
Undoubtedly, the episode is ripe with satirical jokes about Australia, such as the Australian currency being called ‘dollarydoos,” and the Australians’ love for stealing, as descendants of convicts and thieves.
9 Season 10: Simpsons Bible Stories
By Season 10, many fans felt that some of the episodes had begun to lose their original substance, as writers threw together random scenes, tying them with wacky plots. “Simpsons Bible Stories,” however, worked with this new screenplay format, because it was a parody of historical anthological epics that were popular between the 50s and the 70s, like Cleopatra.
“Simpsons Bible Stories” is a fun episode that reimagines what it was like to experience the classic Bible stories, like Moses and the parting of the Red Sea, and King Solomon deciding on who owns a pie, between Lenny and Carl.
8 Season 9: The City Of New York Vs Homer Simpson
Following the convention of the mid-town born and bred man who hates the flamboyant and progressive city of New York, Homer is forced to go to New York City to retrieve his car in “The City of New York Vs Homer Simpson.” Barney had drunkenly driven it to New York and left it accumulating parking tickets.
With no choice but to go, Homer, predictably, has a horrible time that audiences find funny, such as missing the parking officer just as he finally decides to quickly use the toilet. Bart, Lisa, Marge and Maggie, on the other hand, have a fantastic time.
7 Season 7: Lisa The Vegetarian
Lisa is, arguably, the most complex character on the show. A girl who is obviously destined to become a great leader in the future, her presence in Springfield is jarring – both to audiences and to characters themselves. Lisa’s choices continue to exclude her from others as seasons progress, and “Lisa The Vegetarian” is no different.
This is one of the first times audiences see Lisa take a stand on who she wants to be, despite the expectations of conformity placed on her by her family and community. She learns to be tolerant of others’ beliefs, even if she might not like them. Many Lisa focused episodes are centered around the character maturing and learning to fuse her humanity and her heart with her intellect.
6 Season 5: Homer Goes To College
Not necessarily a poignant or emotional episode, “Homer Goes To College” is one of those Simpsons episodes that just wants to be fun. After safety inspectors find out that Homer is not trained to be a nuclear safety inspector, Burns forces him to go back to college. The running gag in the show is how Homer, a man who eats tulips in secret, got and keeps an advanced physicist’s job, where he is responsible for the lives of everyone in town.
Of course, he does not take the opportunity for free education and financial betterment seriously, spending his time, instead, laughing at his lecturer and pulling pranks on the Dean. He is so stupid, he does not recognize everyone is there to learn, not have the typical college experience of fun. In the end, he fails and has to cheat to pass.
5 Season 3: Flaming Moe’s
Outside of work and home, Homer is most often seen at Moe’s Tavern, owned by his best friend, Moe. Moe’s Tavern is Homer’s home away from home, as, there, he encounters his oldest best friend, and relaxes with work buddies, Lenny and Carl. “Flaming Moe’s” deals with how Homer reacts to being betrayed by his best friend.
After Moe steals his drink and calls it his own, the bar’s popularity shoots up overnight and Moe’s success takes off. Moe is about to sign a deal to mass-produce Flaming Homers, a contract that would make him wealthy for life. Homer, unable to process the betrayal, deals with the problem the best he can: he goes crazy.
4 Season 1: Moaning Lisa
Although episode one of season one establishes the Simpsons’ family dynamic, “Moaning Lisa” is the episode that inculcates this dynamic. It is an episode about a sad eight-year-old middle-class white American child who does not know why she is sad. Lisa’s parents and teachers, brainwashed into middle-class American complacency, cannot imagine why Lisa is not the same way. But Lisa is sad because she realizes that beyond the U.S. borders, many people suffer. Why do they suffer?
After her parents’ misguided attempt to cheer her up, Lisa finds someone who acknowledges her sadness, Bleeding Gums Murphy, and she learns to pour out her blues through her saxophone.
3 Season 2: Homer Vs Lisa And The 8th Commandment
The Homer-Lisa father-daughter bond is complicated, yet simple. In its simplest form, Homer loves Lisa and Lisa loves Homer. The complexity arises in their mismatched personas. Lisa is an intellectual and Homer is a drunken, lazy man who never thinks, following his basest instincts most of the time.
After Sunday School teaches Lisa that stealing can land a person in Hell, Lisa is worried about her father’s eternal damnation when he bribes the cable man for free cable. Lisa protests, supported by Marge. And though Homer is resolute in his decision, he chooses his daughter and his family at the end, albeit angrily.
2 Season 4: Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie
Bart’s character arch is a sad one. In numerous future episodes, he is shown to end up as a deadbeat. Indeed, Bart himself knows he will end up a deadbeat, telling Lisa that once she becomes president, he would be there to borrow money from her.
Every episode in season four is a classic. However, the greatness of “Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie” rests in its poignancy. Usually a disinterested and lenient father, Homer shows his love and concern for his son’s future by disciplining him. His discipline, Mrs. Krabappel warns, could be the difference between Bart ending up a deadbeat, or becoming Supreme Court Justice. So Homer puts his foot down and forbids Bart from watching the hotly anticipated Itchy and Scratchy Movie.
1 Season 8: Homer’s Enemy
The Simpsons began as a parody of middle-class white America at a time when U.S. prosperity meant The American Dream was easy to achieve for most white Americans. However, for many who don’t fall within this demographic, The American Dream has never been that realistic. “Homer’s Enemy” finally addresses what has been hinted at as parody for the past seven seasons. Frank Grimes, a man who had nothing and worked his way up to becoming a physicist, grows quickly to hate his fellow employee, Homer.
“I’m saying you’re what’s wrong with America, Simpson. You coast through life, you do as little as possible, and you leech off of decent, hardworking people, like me. Heh, if you lived in any other country in the world, you’d have starved to death long ago. You’re a fraud, a total fraud.”
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