As Fox marks its 450th episode of the “The Simpsons” on Jan. 10, we asked readers to reflect back on the past 20 years of the animated series and tell us about the episodes that made them laugh the hardest and what makes the show so special.
The following is a sampling of the responses.
There are so many great episodes that still send me into peals of laughter, but 3 that have always stuck in my mind are the Beer Baron, the Lemon Tree, and the episode where Mr. Burns can't remember Homer's name. They all had wonderfully told stories with great dialog. Quotes like Homer's "It must've been that bean I had for dinner," Milhouse's "So this is what it sounds like when doves cry," and Mr. Burns' "Who the devil are you?" always stick in my memory. — Anonymous
For me it's got to be "Homer at the Bat." That episode was the show serving notice that it had arrived as a piece of Americana, and that it had enough public appeal that even pro ball players wanted to take part. Nowadays it's rarer to find an episode with no guest stars than before this episode, where nine pro athletes was unheard of. — Anonymous
"El Viaje de Nuestro Jomer (The Mysterious Voyage of Homer)" episode had me laughing so hard I think I actually cried. The opening sequence when Marge futilely tries to prevent Homer from finding out about the Springfield Chili Cook-Off by taking up smoking and cutting out the front page of the newspaper set in motion a half-hour of hilarity. — Brent Melton
The Springfield Files from Season 8 has to be my all-time favorite because it packs more hilarious jokes, sight gags, and one liners than any other episode! From Moe smuggling an Orca whale to Homer stealing Flanders' weather vain to a riff on a "High Anxiety" gag that was a riff on the theme to "Psycho" (the orchestra on the bus playing scary music) to the finale of Leonard Nimoy singling along with the cast in a lovely rendition of "Good Morning Starshine," this episode is a — wait for it — non-stop laugh riot! There, I said it! "It's bringing us love! Kill it!" — Mark Newman
My favorite "Simpsons" episode is when Homer takes the kids to Mt. Splashmore and gets stuck in the tube! I was a teenager when that was aired and still laugh about it years later! — Kathryn Talbott
True "Simpsons" fans would agree that "The Simpsons" should have never seen the new millennium and in my opinion are nothing like they were back in the 90's. The best episode, $pringfield: Marge has a gambling problem. — David Eilenberger
"Oh Marge-y, you came and you brought me a turkey, on my vacation away from work-y" I love the episode where Homer goes on a business trip if only for his re-working of the song Mandy. — Amanda Bini
My all time favorite episode is "Brother From Another Series," which throws in several "Frasier" nods. Sideshow Bob (Kelsey Grammer) has been released from prison, and seems to be on the straight and narrow, working with his brother Cecil (David Hyde Pierce), who is secretly the bad guy. Lisa and Bart work together to thwart the evil plans. Hilarity all around, but my favorite moment is when Cecil looks up and says "Maris?" Priceless! — Emma J.
My favorite episode was actually the first one I ever watched and it's the one when Bleeding Gums Murphy passes away. Bart takes his Krusty O's settlement money to buy Murphy's album for Lisa so that she can take it to the jazz radio station to have it played in his honor. It's great listening to the saxophone and Lisa singing "Jazz Man." I remember thinking at the time..."what is everyone talking about Bart being such a brat...he just did a very wonderful, loving and generous thing for his sister." I have been a fan ever since...and have since learned the truth about Bart! — Anonymous
"Homer's Enemy" starring Frank Grimes (aka Grimey) is one of the best. This episode speaks to all the hard-working people who just don't understand how some people just coast through life. Yet, the hardworking hero somehow grates on us, and his bitterness is a foil for Homer's cavalier attitude toward hard work. A dark episode, true - but one that continues to resonate with viewers. Who is the true hero here? Homer? Grimey? What does the story say about the "American Dream"? — Sylvana Browne
My favorite are the Sideshow Bob episodes. I wish they would put out a DVD with all of them. My favorite is when Bart is kidnapped on the houseboat and Bob does the whole play of HMS Pinafore! It was great!!! I also love the ones when David Hyde Pierce played his brother and John Mahoney played Bob's dad!! How clever to use the cast of Frasier to play them in the Simpsons! — Katie Adams
The best simpsons episode ever has to be the one where Homer grows tomacco!!! There are some many one liners, "I got this car in Guatemala," "From the Producers of Waiting to Exhale," and "this tastes like grandma." Classic Simpsons!!! — Anonymous
The "Treehouse of Horror" episode where Homer sells his soul to the Devil (Ned Flanders) for a donut. He ends up having to spend a day in Hell before he's eventually set free by a diabolical jury (which included Richard Nixon, who was still alive at the time). I laugh till I cry every time I see it. — Kim Jacobson