As one of the longest-running shows, The Simpsons has had hundreds of episodes, and new ones are still airing. It’s a challenge to pick the favorites. Depending on personal taste, everybody can enjoy different episodes. Nevertheless, there are those that are simply better than others. Or at least have better ratings.
An important thing to do for any show is to draw the audience in. That’s why the first episode of each season should be of high quality. The audience needs a reason to keep watching. The Simpsons has done the best first episodes in its initial seasons, corresponding with the opinions of some fans who believe the show is no longer as great as it used to be.
10 Season 10: Lard Of The Dance – 7.6
Being a kid in a school full of more popular kids is tough. Lisa feels jealous of a new beautiful and worldly classmate Alex Whitney. She decides to organize a school dance, but it won’t be a spoiler to reveal that things don’t go the way Lisa’s planning. At the same time, Homer and Bart attempt to kickstart their grease business, even if it means Bart will never go to school again. The two storylines connect in the end and form a hilarious finale of an overall funny episode.
9 Season 1: Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire – 8.2
Every show has to start somewhere, and The Simpsons started with a bang! The episode takes place during Christmas. The problem is that Homer has no money to buy gifts for his family as a result of paying for Bart’s tattoo removal. Homer’s despair is palpable in the episode which makes him sympathetic, unlike in some other episodes. Luckily, things work out in the end, and the Simpson family gets a new member. The animation isn’t as good as in later episodes, but it’s easy to ultimately get over it.
8 Season 2: Bart Gets An F – 8.3
Studying is hard, but it doesn’t help when people don’t take their studies seriously. When Bart learns from his teacher, Edna Krabappel, that he might fail the fourth grade, he does his best to make it, but it might not be enough. Bart may not be a saint. In fact, he actually causes a lot of problems. Despite that, in this episode, the audience will be cheering for him to make it in the end, finding common ground if they struggled with something in their lives as well. As a result, the viewers are emotionally invested in the episode which makes it compelling to watch.
7 Season 4: Kamp Krusty – 8.5
As the old saying goes, people should never meet their heroes. Lisa and Bart learn the hard way that Krusty the Clown isn’t as amazing as they have believed. They go to Kamp Krusty, but they discover it’s absolutely awful, and Krusty, himself, is nowhere in sight.
Meanwhile, Marge and Homer are experiencing unusual calm and happiness, especially Homer. He loses weight and his hair grows back. Taking care of kids is never easy and this episode reflects it in a funny way.
6 Season 8: Treehouse Of Horror VII – 8.5
The Simpsons‘ tradition to air scary Halloween episodes makes it different from most current shows. As usual, this episode contains three shorter stories. In the first, Bart discovers he has a Siamese twin, but which one of them is good and which one is evil? In the second story, Lisa accidentally creates a new civilization and becomes God, but things don’t go well. The final story sees aliens, Kang and Kodos, making a plan to conquer planet Earth. Since the stories are short, even if the viewers don’t like one story, they don’t have to wait long for another one to start.
5 Season 5: Homer’s Barbershop Quartet – 8.5
The show mostly focuses on present times, so it’s always a nice surprise when it brings the audience into the future or into the past. After all, a great many things happened before Marge and Homer had their family. In this episode, Homer forms a quartet with Barney, principal Skinner, and Apu. They publish a record, but as it happens, they part ways in the end. Their music is catchy, nonetheless, and music fans will have a strong chance to enjoy the episode.
4 Season 3: Stark Raving Dad – 8.6
The Simpsons isn’t a musical TV show, but they do sometimes have episodes for which music is more important. This is one of them. Homer ends up in a mental hospital, but it’s all a big misunderstanding. He meets his new roommate who acts and sings like Michael Jackson.
Michael Jackson voiced the role of Homer’s new friend, Leon, and he sang a brand new song on the show. It’s one of the more emotional episodes of The Simpsons but contains funny moments as well.
3 Season 6: Bart Of Darkness – 8.7
Inspired by the classic Alfred Hitchcock movie Rear Window (1954), this episode is full of tension. After Bart breaks his leg, he’s spending summer in his room. Since he’s bored, he spies on his neighbors with his telescope. When he believes Ned Flanders has murdered his wife, Bart and Lisa work together to learn the truth. It’s possible to be afraid for the characters, especially once they investigate Flander’s house. As far as nods to classic movies go, this is one of the best.
2 Season 7: Who Shot Mr. Burns? Part Two – 9.0
The mystery of who shot Mr. Burns drew the audience to the screen as moths fly to a flame. The seventh season couldn’t have started in a better fashion, as it finally provided the answer to that question. Many people would never have guessed who the real culprit was. The truth is that many people hated Mr. Burns and had plenty of reason to hurt him. In the end, the episode closes off with a clever moment that suggests things might be different than everybody in Springfield thinks.
1 Season 9: The City Of New York Vs. Homer Simpson – 9.1
Homer can cause a lot of trouble in Springfield, let alone in other cities. When he learns his car is parked near World Trade Center Plaza, he has to get the car away. Unfortunately, things don’t go according to plan as Homer encounters a lot of problems along the way. Meanwhile, Marge and the kids are enjoying their trip to New York. The episode offers a lot of jokes, and Homer’s despair at his situation is very amusing. Even more so once the audience compares it to the experiences of the rest of his family.