Tito’s Simpsons Countdown 12-10Posted: July 30, 2007
12. Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk (Season 3)
In the earliest episode on my list, Burns sells the plant to German investors. It’s one of the show’s more intelligent storylines, and unlike recent episodes, the world around the Simpsons is bigger than the family. In other words, a more recent episode would probably have Homer appointed as the new head of the plant, rather than having his relatively normal life affected by something bigger. Even though Homer indirectly affects the Germans purchase, he’s still just an average Joe, as he is in all of the best episodes of the series.
The beginning of the episode is great, where Homer attempts to understand the stock market:
Homer: For your information, I just made a cool $25 playing the market. Buy low, sell high, that’s my motto. I may just quit my job at the power plant and become a full-time stock… market guy.
Homer’s firing is a wonderful stereotype of German efficiency:
Voice over loudspeaker: Attention workers, we have completed our evaluation of the plant. We regret to announce the following lay-offs, which I will read in alphabetical order: Simpson, Homer. That is all.
But the funniest sequence in this episode, by far, is simply too funny to attempt to describe. This might be one of the greatest scenes in the history of television:
11. Homer Goes to College (Season 5)
This Conan-penned episode’s title explains the basic plot. Homer assumes everything he’s seen in college movies is true, particularly the dynamic between nerds and jocks. There’s nothing really special about this episode, it’s just funny from start to finish. The script takes full advantage of various things that are only possible in a cartoon (such as Homer causing a meltdown in the test van which doesn’t have any radioactive material), but nevr throws logic completely out the window.
Hard to pick a best part of this episode, but the imagined rivalry between Homer and the Dean is pretty brilliant.
Dean: “No one’s blaming you for the accident, Homer. We just think you could do with a little outside tutoring.”
Homer: “You win this round, Dean…”
Homer: “Hello, Dean… you’re a stupid head.”
Dean (looking out window): “Homer, is that you?”
Homer: “AAAAAAHHHH!!” (runs away)
Actually, on second thought, everything about kidnapping Springfield A&M’s mascot pig might be even funnier:
Dean: “Oh my God! That sounded like a pig fainting!”
Dean: “I’m sorry, boys. I’ve never had to expel anyone before… but that pig had some powerful friends.”
Nixon: “Oh you’ll pay! Don’t think you won’t pay!
10. Cape Feare (Season 5)
Sideshow Bob’s third, fourth, and fifth appearances (this episode, where he runs for mayor, and where he steal the nuclear bomb from the air base) are all absolutely brilliant. It’s a shame the episodes with him since have all been god-awful. It was a tough call, but the inexplicable sequence of Bob being hit in the face by rakes pushed this one onto the list. The others get honorable mention, but I think there’s only room for one Sideshow Bob episode.
The other thing that pushes this episode into the top fifteen (or top ten, I suppose) is entire scene where the family deals with the Witness Relocation Program. Homer’s request to become John Elway, and the ensuing fantasy of the Super Bowl ending with Denver 7 and San Francisco 56 is brilliant. Homer’s inability to understand his new name- equally brilliant. Here’s a chunk of the episode, but embedding was disabled, so here’s the link:
A few other highlighted quotes include:Marge: “Stay away from my son!”
Sideshow Bob: “Oh I’ll stay away alright… stay away forever… (pause) Wait, that’s no good… (starts to leave) Wait! I’ve got it! Say, ‘Stay away from my son’ again.”
Sideshow Bob: Ngngngng… (That’s me doing the best I can to write out the sound Bob always makes, if you couldn’t tell.)
Chief Wiggum: “Well, I‘d like to help you, ma‘am. But I’m afraid there’s no law against mailing threatening letters.”
Marge: “I’m pretty sure there is.”
Wiggum: “Ha! The day I take cop lessons from Ma Kettle…”
Lou: (showing a book of laws) “Hey, she’s right, chief.”
Wiggum: “Well shut my mouth. It’s also illegal to put squirrels down your pants for the purposes of gambling. (Hears laughter as cops holding cash are gathered around another with squirrels in his pants) Hey, boys, knock it off!”
Homer: “Who wants to drive through the cactus patch?”
Sideshow Bob: (underneath the car): “No!!!”
Homer: “Oh well, two against one.”