The Simpsons is possibly the greatest sitcom/animation of all-time. The show has now been running for 32 seasons, and has such an impressive catalogue of episodes that the 25th best episode is rated 88%. Although many would agree that the shows quality has waned in later years, it’s undeniable that for a 10 year period, it was the most popular show on television.
The Simpsons began as a show determined to make fun of popular culture and contemporary events. However, the show became such a success, it began to become what it originally intended to make fun of. Luckily for fans, this didn’t happen for a good 12-13 years.
It’s easy to point at the “simple” take of claiming The Simpsons was only good for the first 12-13 seasons. But, as you’re about to see, that seems to be a universally acknowledged fact. In the below list of highest rated Simpsons episodes, the latest episode is Season 9, Episode 1. That’s pretty remarkable.
Although the lure of The Simpsons has never really died down, even 32 years after it originally premiered, the show has found a new lease on life in the digital age. Before memes and GIFs were even a concept, The Simpsons was creating scenes and moments that were just perfect for these scenarios. Since the social media revolution has taken off, The Simpsons is now one of the most used shows for all your meme-ing and GIF-ing goodness.
We recently put together an article of the Top 10 Best Simpsons Episodes Ever (definitely worth a read if you want to see if your thoughts align with ours). We enjoyed writing that article so much (and watching all the episodes), that we decided to put together a list of the 25 Highest Rated Episodes of The Simpsons.
Despite their ultra-careful planning, the Flanders family home is destroyed by a hurricane. Devastated, the Flanders are forced to stay in a welfare shelter. The townspeople, determined to help, build the Flanders a new home.
Ned quickly realises that the home is of poor construction and unliveable. Trying his best to keep his emotions inside, Ned suddenly snaps and turns on his friends and neighbours. He admits himself to a psychiatric hospital where he is treated by the same doctor who cured his anger issues as a child.
Ned: “I don’t know you but I’m sure you’re a jerk”.
Believing that “there’s no such thing as a soul”, Bart sells his soul on a piece of paper to Milhouse for $5. Bart begins to notice weird occurrences, such as doors not opening for him and animals hating him. Desperate to reclaim his soul, Bart travels throughout Springfield trying to find Milhouse. When he thinks all is lost, Lisa gives Bart the piece of paper with his soul on it.
Meanwhile, Moe transforms Moe’s Tavern into a family restaurant named, ‘Uncle Moe’s Family Feedbag’. Although proving to be a success, Moe can’t keep up the happy facade and lashes out at his customers, causing his business scheme to go down the drain.
Best Quote: Kirk Van Houten: “Uh, Milhouse, give him back his soul, I have work tomorrow”.
When the Simpsons family meets and befriends John, a gay antiques dealer, Homer is forced to deal with his homophobic tendencies. In an effort to “protect Bart”, Homer forces him to take on masculine tasks, such as hunting deer. Bart rejects the notion of killing a deer for sport, and the group quickly find themselves in trouble, surrounded by angry deer.
John saves the day by using a robotic Santa Claus to scare the deer off. Homer is grateful, realising that he was wrong in his beliefs all along.
After Moe neglected to pay his Duff distributor, Homer shares his recipe for a secret and delicious drink. Due to his overwhelming financial situation, Moe steals the recipe and brands it as a “Flaming Moe”. The introduction of the drink causes Moe’s Tavern to soar in popularity. Jealous & angry from the betrayal, Homer seeks revenge on Moe and attempts to take away his success.
Best Quote: Homer: Moe, I haven’t seen the place this crowded since the government cracked down on you for accepting food stamps.
During a St. Patrick’s Day parade, Bart is captured drunk on TV. Angry parents protest and demand the abolishment of alcohol from Springfield. When their wish is granted, Moe’s Tavern continues to operate as a bar thanks to the lackluster police force. When Chief Wiggum is fired, a hard-headed police chief is brought in to rid Springfield of alcohol forever. To keep the booze flowing, Homer comes up with an ingenious plan to supply Springfield with alcohol.
Best Quote: Mayor Quimby: You can’t seriously want to ban alcohol. It tastes great, makes women appear more attractive, and makes a person virtually invulnerable to criticism.
To explain why there are no photos of Maggie in the house, Homer explains the story of Maggie’s birth. Prior to Maggie’s birth, Homer was on the express way out of debt. With only two kids and a wife, he had made his last mortgage payment and subsequently quit his job at the Nuclear Power Plant. He takes up his dream job at the Bowling Alley to continue to support his family.
When Marge becomes pregnant, Homer is forced back to the Power Plant in order to make ends meet. When Mr. Burns places a demotivational sign over his desk, reading “Don’t Forget, You’re Here Forever”, Homer uses photos of Maggie to hide certain letters. The sign now reads, “Do it for her”. A very sweet moment in a great episode of The Simpsons.
Best Quote: Moe: “Hey, Homer! Way to get Marge pregnant! Haha…” Homer: “This is getting very abstract, but thank you, I do enjoy working at the bowling alley.”
Worried that Mr. Burns may replace him when he takes a well-earned break, Mr. Smithers enlists Homer to take over his responsibilities. Homer struggles through Smither’s daily duties, and finds Mr. Burns constant complaining and degradation too much to bare. In a moment of anger, Homer punches Mr. Burns in the face. Scared of another beating, Mr. Burns is forced into doing things for himself, realising they weren’t that difficult after all. When Smithers returns, he is immediately fired. Smithers and Homer hatch a plan to try and earn back Mr. Burns’ good graces.
Best Quote: Smithers: I’ve got to find a replacement who won’t outshine me. Perhaps if I search the employee evaluations for the word incompetent. Computer: [randomly beeps] Smithers: 714 names? Better be more specific.Lazy, clumsy, dim-witted, monstrously ugly. Computer: [still displays 714 names] Smithers: Ah, nuts to this. I’ll just go get Homer Simpson.
Mr. Burns is struggling as he becomes nostalgic and reminisces about his old Teddy Bear, Bobo. Desperate to find the Bear, Mr. Burns sets a handsome reward for the Bear’s safe return. After buying a bag of ice from the Kwik-E-Mart, the Simpsons are left with the Bear in their possession. Maggie becomes infatuated with the Bear. As Mr. Burns desperate pleas become louder, Homer struggles between his want for the lucrative reward, and his desire to make Maggie happy.
Best Quote: Ice Delivery Man: “You’ve got to start charging more than a dollar a bag. We lost four more men on this expedition!” Apu: “If you can think of a better way to get ice, I’d like to hear it”
Deep Space Homer came to us in the prime of The Simpsons golden run.
When NASA decide they need to send an Average Joe to space in order to boost their floundering ratings, they hire Homer & Barney to duke it out for the 1 available spot on the space shuttle. When Barney disqualifies himself on a drunken rampage, Homer is crowned the winner. Homer makes it to space and instantly wreaks havoc, spiralling the mission into disaster.
Deep Space Homer is one of the more famous episodes. The idea of a good natured simpleton like Homer reaching space is clearly hilarious and the episode is home to some of the greatest Simpsons quotes. The concept of Kent Brockman instantly selling out humanity remains one of my favourite Simpsons moments of all-time.
Best Quote: Kent Brockman: “Ladies and gentlemen, uh, we’ve just lost the picture, but what we’ve seen speaks for itself. The Corvair spacecraft has apparently been taken over, ‘conquered’ if you will, by a master race of giant space ants. It’s difficult to tell from this vantage point whether they will consume the captive Earthmen or merely enslave them. But, one thing is for certain: there is no stopping them; the ants will soon be here. And I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords. I’d like to remind them as a trusted TV personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar caves.”
Homer is swayed by a canny Car Salesman to purchase a plow. When Springfield is plunged into the depths of Winter, Homer’s plow business begins to gain traction. Motivated by Homer’s success, Barney buys a bigger plow and starts his own business, The Plow King. Homer creates a devious plan to remove Barney from town and steal his business. The plan backfires, as Barney becomes trapped on a Mountain. Homer rushes to rescue him.
Best Quote: Homer: Well, I really should discuss this with my wife. Salesman: Your wife? (cracks an imaginary whip) Homer: What, you think I’m going to buy a $20,000 truck just because you make that noise? Salesman:(cracks his whip again) Homer: Okay, I’ll take it.
’22 Short Films About Springfield’ is an episode that highlights a day in the life for an assortment of Sprinfieldians. The episode cuts between Principal Skinner & Superintendent Chalmers having dinner, Lisa having gum in her hair, Maggie being stuck in a Newspaper vending machine, Chief Wiggum being captured by Herman and a few more.
Best Quote: Superintendent Chalmers: “and you call them steamed hams, despite the fact they’re obviously grilled.”
Who Shot Mr. Burns? Part 2 is the Season 7 conclusion to the Season 6 cliffhanger. When Mr. Burns awakes from his Coma, the only words he’s able to say are “Homer Simpson”. The police arrest Homer for attempted murder. Homer manages to escape custody and finds himself at the Hospital, threatening Mr. Burns to reveal that he wasn’t the shooter. The town converges on the Hospital room where Mr. Burns regains his speech and exclaims that Maggie Simpson was the shooter.
Best Quote: Selma: Mr. Burns has been shot. Chief Wiggum: Just a minute! This isn’t Mr. Burns at all! It’s a mask! [pulls at his face a little] Wait, it is Burns. Heh, his wrinkly skin, it…looks like a mask.
Desperate to avoid work and Mr. Burns tedious new exercise program, Homer gains a dangerous amount of weight and is classified as disabled. Homer begins working from home, enjoying the luxuries that his new workspace affords him. When Homer leaves his workstation for a prolonged period of time, he inadvertently begins a process that will result in a core meltdown. Homer must desperately make his way to the Power Plant to stop the potential destruction of Springfield.
Best Quote: Lisa: Dad, what are you doing down there? Homer: Washing my fat guy hat, honey.
Homer and Marge score tickets to a candy convention. Homer spots the Candy Venus de Milo and swipes it. They are chased out of the convention by an angry mob. Homer takes the babysitter home. As she is getting out of the car, Homer realises she was sitting on the Candy Venus de Milo and it is now stuck to her shorts. He grabs it off her, which she mistakes for sexual harassment. Homer is accused of being a sexual predator, with an angry mob camping out the front of the Simpsons home. Homer is villainised by the media until Groundskeeper Willie presents the Simpsons with a tape that proves his innocence.
Best Quotes: News Reporter: (on TV) Simpson scandal update – Homer sleeps nude in an oxygen tank which he believes gives him sexual powers. Homer: Hey, that’s a half-truth!
Rather than going to church, Homer stays home. After having the best day of his life, he decides he no longer needs church or religion. Homer dreams that God himself came to him, with the two mutually agreeing that what Homer is doing is right. Meanwhile, Marge desperately attempts to get Homer to reconsider his position, believe what he’s doing to be wicked. When the Simpsons home catches on fire, Homer is saved by Ned Flanders, while the home is saved by volunteer firefighters. Believing this to be a sign, Homer agrees to come back to church.
Best Quotes: Reverend Lovejoy: How’s that door coming, Willie? Willie: Miracles are yer department, Reverend!
Desperate to join a secretive cult society known as “The Stonecutters”, Homer endures a rigorous ceremonial ritual and is eventually inducted. During a dinner, Homer destroys the ancient Stonecutter parchment and is abruptly abolished from the secret society. During his exit “shaming” it’s revealed that Homer has the Stonecutter birthmark, said to be the calling card of the one true leader. He is anointed as the head of “The Stonecutters”. His usual shenanigans cause his subjects to turn against him, leading to a boycott of the society.
Best Quotes: Grampa: Ok, I’m an Elk, a Mason, a Communist, the president of The Gay and Lesbian Committee for some reason. Oh, here it is… The Stonecutters. Homer: Yes, thank you dad. Lets go!… I’ll take this Communist one too!
After having one too many beers at Moe’s, Homer is forced to walk home through the woods. He spots an alien-like figure who comes out to greet him. Detective Mulder & Detective Scully come to Springfield to investigate the paranormal activity. Word catches on about the potential alien and the whole town gathers in the woods to see it for themselves. As the alien appears out of the darkness, the town turns the violence, wanting to attack the alien. Mr. Smithers reveals that it’s actually Mr. Burns who is in a drug induced daze and glowing green from years of exposure to radiation.
Best Quotes: Leonard Nimoy: I’m Leonard Nimoy. The following tale of alien encounters is true. And by true, I mean false. It’s all lies. But they’re entertaining lies. And in the end, isn’t that the real truth? The answer is no.
Barney is forced to be the designated driver as Lenny, Carl & Homer have a wild, booze-filled night of escapades. Unable to handle it, Barney disappears for weeks with Homer’s car. Homer receives a letter from the City of New York, informing him that his car is illegally parked. The Simpsons travel to New York City to get their car. Homer is made to wait all day for the parking inspector and misses him when he finally arrives. Desperate to get out of the city, Homer goes to dramatic lengths to free his car and head back home.
Best Quotes: Homer: I’m going to get out of here alive if it kills me!
Homer takes on his boss, Mr. Burns in a labour struggle which rapidly spins out of control. Homer convinces his colleagues to go on strike, angering Mr. Burns. Mr. Burns turns the tables by hiring robots to do the work and turning off all the power in Springfield. The unwavering stoicism shown by the colleagues, who are united in song, convinces Mr. Burns to buckle and provide them with their demands.
This episode is famous for one of the best musical pieces of The Simpsons long run. You can watch the video here.
Best Quote: Mr. Burns: This is a thousand monkeys working at a thousand typewriters. Soon they’ll have written the greatest novel known to man. Let’s see. It was the best of times, it was the, “blurst”, of times?! You stupid monkey!
Mr. Burns is caught dumping radioactive waste in a local park and fined $2m. As the people of Springfield are deciding what to do with the funds, Lyle Lanley interrupts the town meeting and proposed the idea of a Monorail. The idea passes unanimously and the town begins working on the project. Homer is chosen as the inaugural monorail conductor as Marge becomes uneasy with the situation. Marge soon discovers that Lyle Lanley is a fraud. Before she can stop the Monorail, it takes off with the brake line snapping almost instantly. Homer manages to stop the runaway vehicle by using a metal letter as an anchor.
Best Quote: Marge: Homer! There’s someone here who says he can help you. Homer: Batman?! Marge: No, he’s a scientist. Homer: Batman’s a scientist! Marge: It’s not Batman!
Springfield Elementary School learns that it’s sitting on a huge oil reserve. As the school prepares to make us of it’s new found wealth, Mr. Burns swoops in and steals the oil with his slanted oil drill. Mr. Burns loses the support of Mr. Smithers as he proposes his idea to block Springfield of any sunlight. The townspeople have a meeting to discuss what to do about Mr. Burns, who then challenges them to act. As the town leaves the meeting, a gunshot can be heard and Mr. Burns is found lying on top of a sundial.
Best Quotes: Moe: Hey, Homer: us hotheads here is going to go tear down Burns’ sun-blocking machine. You want to come with? Homer: Sure. I’ve had it up to here with these damn rickets!
Treehouse of Horror V is the only halloween special to make this list. Because of their format, the Treehouse of Horror format doesn’t bode well with classic storytelling.
The Simpsons are enlisted as Winter caretakers of Mr. Burns mountain mansion. Homer discovers there’s no cable and no beer and is driven to violent madness. In the second mini episode, Homer accidentally invents a time travelling toaster and his antics cause the present to change dramatically. The third mini-ep sees Lisa and Bart facing off against the teachers from Springfield Elementary who are eating their students.
Best Quote: Mr. Burns: (after an elevator empties out a huge amount of blood) Hmmmm… that’s odd. Usually the blood gets off on the second floor.
Sideshow Bob is released from prison and returns seeking revenge on his arch nemesis, Bart. The Simpsons seek the help of the FBI who place them into protective custody. However, the Simpsons are followed by Bart’s great nemesis.
The Simpsons, now named, The Thompsons, are followed to their new home (a houseboat) by Sideshow Bob. He ties up the family, and threatens to kill Bart. As his final wish, Bart asks Sideshow Bob to sing the entire score from the H.M.S Pinafore. Bob agrees and sings to Bart which allows the houseboat enough time to sail into Springfield and Bob is apprehended by the police.
Best Quote: Bart: Take him away, boys. Chief Wiggum: Hey, I’m the chief here! Bake him away, toys. Lou: What’d you say, Chief? Chief Wiggum: …Do what the kid says.
Homer accepts a lucrative new job and moves the Simpsons away from Springfield and to Cyprus Creek. Homer quickly settles into his new job. Homer’s boss, Hank Scorpio, provides him with the care and support that Homer has always sought in a boss. However, the perfect new town becomes more than the Simpsons are able to bare, and Homer is forced to quit his new job. Homer naively ignores the fact that Mr. Scorpio is an international terrorist and the family returns to Springfield.
Best Quotes: Mr. Doyle: So, you never learned cursive? Bart: Um, well, I know hell, damn, bit… Mr. Doyle: Cursive handwriting. Script.
After watching his inspirational, down on your luck tale, Mr. Burns recruits Hank Grimes to work at the Nuclear Power Plant. Grimes quickly develops a hatred for Homer, who he views as lazy, dimwitted, and annoyingly lucky. Homer attempts to win back his coworkers respect by entering a children’s model building contest. Homer presents his design and is heaped with praise by his colleagues. Frank Grimes is driven to madness and eventually electrocutes himself on high-voltage cables and dies.
Best Quotes: Grimes: God, he eats like a pig! Lenny: I don’t know. Pigs tend to chew. I’d say he eats more like a duck.