The Simpsons is an iconic American show that has been airing since 1989 on FOX. Set in the average American town of Springfield, the show follows the antics and everyday adventures of the Simpson family. Over the 36 seasons of the show, there have been many memorable episodes that have made The Simpsons a household name. Here we will rank the best episodes of The Simpsons, from the highest to the lowest rated.
The Simpsons is filled with comedy, satire and commentary directed at politics, media and American life. It has attracted hundreds of celebrities to guest star in the show, making it even more popular. With so many great episodes, it can be hard to pick out the best. Here we will rank the top episodes based on their ratings, reviews and overall popularity.
So sit back and enjoy this list of the best episodes of The Simpsons, ranked from highest to lowest. There is sure to be something here to satisfy everyone, so let’s get started!
Written by Sophie and last updated on feb 26, 2024.
PS: The following content contains spoilers!
PPS: I will admit that parts of this page was written with the help of AI - it makes my work so much easier to not start from a blank page!
The Simpsons episode "Summer of 4 Ft. 2" is a classic episode, showcasing the show at the peak of its power. This episode follows the Simpson family on their vacation, where Lisa is hoping to fit in with the other kids at the beach by trying on a new identity. However, her plan gets foiled by her brother Bart, who reveals her true nerdiness to the group.
The episode is incredibly relatable, as it captures the emotions of Lisa's struggle with fitting in, and makes Bart a compelling antagonist and then ally. It also includes lots of great comedy, and is definitely one of the show's best episodes. It even includes the peak of Milhouse's character, adding to the hilarity of the episode. All in all, "Summer of 4 Ft. 2" is an incredible episode with lots of heart, humor, and a meaningful story.
The episode was rated 8.07 from 536 votes.
The Simpsons episode, "Bart's Comet" is one of those platonic ideals of a Simpsons episode. It is full of hilarious moments, off-the-wall gags, and mob mentality humor. The opening act showcases Bart and Skinner, with the latter giving into his young prankster ways and the latter succumbing to his sad sack squareness. It then transitions into a satire of how people respond to a crisis, from hubris to despair and desperation, and finally with community. The clockwork perfection of the comet destroying the weather balloon and bomb shelter is wonderful, and the jokes never stop hitting. Furthermore, it also contains asides about military spending and congressional ineptitude. Although there is no Bond villain or flashbacks or attacks from Sideshow Bob, the humor is so dense, and the satire so well-observed, that it becomes an all-timer.
The episode also features a lovely bit of heart. It culminates with a sweet "Que Sera Sera" moment, during which the entire town shows up at the Flanders family bomb shelter. It also includes Homer's delightful thumb-twiddling song, the animal noise guessing game, and the "Never give up, never think things out" spirit of Springfield. All of these elements combine to make an episode that is not only hilarious from start to finish, but also contains great moments of character-based humor and satire.
The episode was rated 8.07 from 631 votes.
In the episode "Homer vs. the Eighteenth Amendment", Springfield revives the Prohibition and Homer and Bart become the town's beer barons. The episode is filled with humour, ranging from Rex Banner's uptight, old-timey talk to Chief Wiggum's rise and fall during the sud-soaked mayhem. The plot follows Homer and Bart's crazy scheme to dig up barrels, make their own liquor, and help Wiggum with his position. At the end of the episode, the hilarious final line will live on in infamy.
The episode is a great commentary on beer culture, featuring a St. Patrick's day homage, and a green-themed intro. Dave Thomas' Rex Banner is a classic character, and his inability to laugh makes for some great jokes. Homer and Bart's antics throughout the episode are priceless, from their digging up of the barrels to their bowling situation and their making of the liquor. Marge's reaction to all of this is also hilarious. The ending with the catapult is a bit out there, but memorable nonetheless.
The episode was rated 8.08 from 594 votes.
The Simpsons episode, Mr. Plow, is truly a classic. Homer and Barney become competitors in the snow-plowing business and the episode is full of humorous moments. From Barney hanging out in a hot tub with Linda Ronstadt to Troy McClure hosting "Carnival of the Stars" to Krusty being attacked by circus tigers and Angela Lansbury walking over hot coals, this episode is definitely one of the best.
The episode balances rapid-fire jokes, nice family moments, and a cohesive story, making it an almost perfect Simpsons cartoon. Adam West even has his driveway plowed so he can get the Batmobile out, which promptly loses its muffler. This episode is sure to make any Simpsons fan smile and laugh.
The episode was rated 8.11 from 833 votes.
The second part of the famous 'Who Shot Mr. Burns?' episode of The Simpsons picks up with the investigation of Chief Wiggum after Mr. Burns was shot. Since almost everyone in town had a motive, the investigation is full of twists and turns. In the end, it comes down to the Simpson family's DNA, which is a surprisingly satisfying conclusion.
Fans of the show already knew it was Maggie who fired the shot beforehand, but it's still funny to watch it unfold. Maggie is one of the most beloved characters in the show and this episode is a perfect example of why. Although this episode isn't as good as part 1, it's still a funny and enjoyable story.
The episode was rated 8.12 from 735 votes.
The Simpsons episode "And Maggie Makes Three" tells the story of the birth of the youngest of the Simpson family, Maggie. In a series of flashbacks, the audience is taken through the events leading up to her birth, beginning with Homer quitting his job at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant to pursue his dream of working at a bowling alley. It is then that Marge reveals her pregnancy, much to the surprise of the family.
The episode is filled with emotion as it captures the true importance of family, particularly in Homer's case when he realizes what matters most to him. This is demonstrated in the episode's tagline "Do it for her" which had viewers in tears. The wholesomeness of the episode is further highlighted when the audience is taken back to the present day, where we learn that the lack of pictures of Maggie in the photo album is what spurred the story in the first place.
The episode was rated 8.12 from 619 votes.
The Simpsons' episode "The Springfield Files" is a gag-fest featuring FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully coming to Springfield to investigate an out of this world incident. While the episode is mostly comedic, there is a faint thread of an arc which follows Homer's struggle to have someone believe him. David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson do a good job, and Leonard Nimoy makes a hilarious appearance.
The jokes in the episode make it click. From Moe hauling a whale out to see to the bus that couldn't slow down, the writers are clearly having fun with the absurdity of the situation and the seriousness of Mulder and Scully. The episode also has some great one-liners, such as when Mulder says "Let me write it down on my invisible typewriter." All in all, this episode is a great example of The Simpsons' writers embracing the comedy of the show while also developing a story.
The episode was rated 8.15 from 666 votes.
In the episode You Only Move Twice of the beloved show The Simpsons, Homer is given a job opportunity at a new company in the idyllic town of Cyprus Creek. His new boss, played by Albert Brooks, is a great match for Homer and the first scene of the two together is a great showcase of the episode’s brilliance. The rest of the family also has difficulty adjusting to their new life in the bucolic burg.
This episode of The Simpsons has been praised by fans for its wit and writing, and Albert Brooks’ performance as Hank Scorpio. People have often referred to it as one of the greatest episodes of The Simpsons and as a perfect example of the show. With its humor, intelligence and subtle implications, it is a joy to watch and rewatch time and time again. You Only Move Twice is quite possibly the best episode of The Simpsons.
The episode was rated 8.15 from 831 votes.
The Simpsons episode "King-Size Homer" is one of the all-time classics. In the episode, Homer attempts to gain sixty pounds in order to stay at home on disability. However, when he nearly causes a catastrophe at the plant, Homer reconsiders his plan.
The episode features many classic Simpsons moments, including Homer's attempts to gain weight, his outrageous behavior at the nuclear power plant, and his eventual realization that he needs to take responsibility for his actions. The episode also features some of the series' most memorable lines, such as Homer's famous line, "Mmm… doughnuts." This episode is a must-see for any Simpsons fan, and it's sure to deliver plenty of laughs.
The episode was rated 8.15 from 792 votes.
Treehouse of Horror V is a beloved episode from the classic show The Simpsons. It is considered by many to be one of the best Treehouse of Horror episodes, and it is certainly a classic. This episode revolves around a lack of beer and cable TV driving Homer to become a crazed killer, a time-traveling Homer who alters the present, and Principal Skinner turning detention students into food.
The episode has a great mix of horror and comedy, giving it a unique and memorable feeling. The plot is twisted and unexpected, while still maintaining a sense of fun. It is also quite timely, as it can still be enjoyed today. The last story in particular is particularly sick, but in a good way. All in all, Treehouse of Horror V is an amazing episode, and is well worth a watch!
The episode was rated 8.16 from 918 votes.
The Simpsons episode, Homer's Enemy, follows the story of a hardworking new employee at the power plant who is consumed with resentment at Homer's undeserved success. The episode begins with the employee, Frank Grimes, expressing his frustration with the lack of reward for his hard work. In a moment of despair, he laments "I have had to work hard everyday of my life and what do I have to show for it? This briefcase and this haircut!"
The episode follows Frank Grimes as he attempts to prove himself to the other employees at the power plant, but his efforts are continually undermined by Homer's incompetence. As the episode comes to an end, viewers are left shocked as Frank Grimes is killed off with a cutaway gag. Despite his untimely death, fans have come to appreciate this classic Simpsons episode for its witty dialogue and satire of the American work ethic.
The episode was rated 8.17 from 645 votes.
The Simpsons episode "Cape Feare" is a classic. It features Sideshow Bob, who is released from prison and plots to murder Bart. The Simpsons family goes incognito to avoid him. This episode is filled with absurd laughter and memorable scenes. It is noted that this is one of the funniest episodes the show has ever done, and its tight writing and hilarious plot make it one of the most entertaining episodes of The Simpsons. It is an overall standout and a must-watch for any fan of The Simpsons.
The episode "Cape Feare" was widely praised for its comedic value, as viewers noted its non-stop hilarity. It is widely considered one of the most iconic episodes of The Simpsons, and its clever writing and plot twists made it one of the best episodes of the show. People also noted its tautly written script and its level of absurdity, making it a memorable experience. This classic episode is highly recommended for any fan of The Simpsons.
The episode was rated 8.21 from 921 votes.
Marge vs. the Monorail is an iconic Simpsons episode that sees the level of absurdity for the show reach new heights. The episode follows Springfield after they unexpectedly receive a large windfall of money. A charismatic traveling salesman named Lyle Lanley convinces the townspeople to invest their money into a monorail, though Marge is the only one who is skeptical of Lyle's intentions. Although Marge's plot to unravel Lyle's fraudulence doesn't amount to much, it does make for some solid gags. The episode is filled with jokes, and the plot almost feels secondary due to the sheer amount of them. Despite this, the jokes are incredibly funny and no one can complain.
Marge vs. the Monorail is one of several iconic episodes that follow one another in succession. This particular episode is memorable for the introduction of the highly beloved character of Lyle Lanley, voiced by the late Phil Hartman. His character is easily recognizable and his dialogue is often quoted by fans. Additionally, the episode features a surprise appearance by Leonard Nimoy as himself, adding to its charm. All in all, Marge vs. the Monorail is a great episode that is enjoyed by many fans of the show.
The episode was rated 8.23 from 801 votes.
The first part of the season finale of The Simpsons, "Who Shot Mr. Burns?", introduces Mr. Burns as a villain when he steals the oil discovered beneath Springfield Elementary. His actions leave him with many enemies, providing the perfect set-up for the cliffhanger ending of the episode. This episode is widely considered to be one of the best season finales of the entire show, with some viewers even calling it the pinnacle of The Simpsons. The episode is suspenseful and well-crafted, leaving viewers on the edge of their seats as they anxiously await the answer to the question, "Who shot Mr. Burns?"
The episode is full of memorable moments. Aside from the main plot of trying to figure out who shot Mr. Burns, the episode also features some classic moments of comedic gold. From Bart and Lisa's investigations to the townspeople's reactions, the episode is full of laughs and surprises. It's no wonder why this episode is so highly praised. It's a great example of why The Simpsons is one of the most beloved shows of all time.
The episode was rated 8.23 from 648 votes.
In "Homer the Great", Homer discovers a secret society of Stonecutters and is welcomed with open arms as their Chosen One, much to his surprise. Despite the absurdity of the events that unfold in this episode, its success lies in its ability to make the audience sympathize with Homer's emotional journey, from feeling excluded to feeling accepted, and ultimately feeling emptiness and fulfillment. Despite its lack of continuity, its off-the-wall lunacy is rooted in Homer's emotions, making the episode feel real enough to work. Additionally, the episode is filled with plenty of humor, making it a classic among Simpsons fans.
The episode is a prime example of how, if you make your characters' emotions real enough and the resulting craziness funny enough, you can get away with stretching the boundaries of reality. The audience feels Homer's sadness at being ostracized and his excitement at being welcomed into the brotherhood of the Stonecutters. We understand his spiritual emptiness when he realizes getting what he wants isn't making him happy and his spiritual fulfillment when he uses his power and position for good. This is all brought to life with plenty of jokes and gags, making the episode a wild ride of emotions, reality-breaking lunacy and humor.
The episode was rated 8.24 from 716 votes.
Mixing reality shows and food seems like the perfect combination for just about anyone. I always get amazed what some people are able to make under a huge amount of pressure. The cooking shows are so entertaining as well, because it’s always regular people competing. Just make sure not to watch them on an empty stomach!
The Rig is a gritty-drama television with dark twists series brought to us by Amazon Prime. The show takes place at an offshore oil rig in the North Sea, where a crew of workers take care of operational matters. The series focuses on the lives of the workers, the dark secrets they hold and the dangers that come with working in the challenging environment of the oil rig. A broader theme in this drama focuses on the relationships among the crew and preventing conflicts whilst confined in a claustrophobic and solitary environment. If you like a psychological-thriller-style drama that keeps you guessing, this could be the perfect drama.
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