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Friday, Feb. 23, 2024
The Observer

Favorite "Simpsons" episodes

Keri O'Mara
Keri O'Mara
If you’re a “Simpsons” fan like me, you’ve probably already heard of the marathon to end all marathons, otherwise known as “Every Simpsons Ever,” the non-stop showing of every episode of the show’s 25 seasons. Hosted by cable station FXX, the 12-day marathon just ended on Sept. 1, and viewers got to experience all 24 “Treehouse of Horror” iterations, say goodbye to Maude Flanders all over again and watch the cartoon family meet celebrities from The Smashing Pumpkins to Alex Trebek. Now that the FXX special has ended, I’m picking just a few of my favorite episodes from the longest running sitcom on television.


Season 5, Episode 14 – “Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy”

Lisa stands up against company responsible for the Barbie doll-inspired Malibu Stacy after hearing her spout sexist lines, inspired by the real-life “Teen Talk Barbie” controversy. While the Malibu Stacy doll’s preprogrammed lines (including “I wish they taught shopping in school!”) are great, grandpa Abe Simpson makes the show as he discusses his age.


Season 7, Episode 4 ­– “Bart Sells His Soul”

When I first saw this episode as a small child, I was both entertained and slightly terrified. When Bart sells his soul (in the form of a piece of paper reading “Bart Simpson’s Soul”) to his best friend Milhouse for $5, strange things start to happen — automatic doors no longer open for him, he loses his laugh and his pets won’t come near. After the crisis, Bart finally gets his soul back, but in classic Bart fashion, fails to learn his lesson.


Season 7, Episode 3 – “Home Sweet Homediddly-Dum-Doodily”

Easily one of the most quotable episodes of “The Simpsons,” “Home Sweet Homediddly-Dum-Doodily” gives fans an inside look at the Flanders family, the Simpsons’ cheery, super-religious neighbors. After a characteristically chaotic series of events, the Simpsons children end up in custody of the Flanders family, and Bart, Lisa and Maggie all react differently to their new life of early bedtimes and “Flanders-Style” nachos, which are cucumbers with cottage cheese.


Season 12, Episode 9 – “HOMR”

After Homer discovers one of the crayons he shoved up his nose during childhood has been lodged in his brain for years, he decides to get an operation to remove the crayon. Suddenly, Homer is intelligent, curious and friendless. While Homer’s unexpected intelligence is plenty entertaining, Dr. Hibbert steals the show, as usual.


Season 8, Episode 6 – “A Milhouse Divided”

It’s impossible to make a “Simpsons” episode list without including “A Milhouse Divided.” The episode follows the Milhouse Van Houten’s family as his parents get a divorce. While the plot may seem sad, the episode packs in some of the best and most memorable jokes in the show’s history. From an awkward game of Pictionary to Luann Van Houten’s absurd rebound relationship, the episode is dynamic, dark and undeniably hilarious.