Since its debut in 1989, The Simpsons has delivered many of television’s funniest moments. While this long-running series may have lost a few steps in recent years, it remains a beloved linchpin of adult animation thanks to its vast history of witty writing and comedic timing.
- 10. Homer swats a fly (The Good, the Sad, and the Drugly)
- 9. The stopwatch (Treehouse of Horror XIV)
- 8. Hank Scorpio (You Only Move Twice)
- 7. Homer jumps Springfield Gorge (Bart the Daredevil)
- 6. Testing (The Secret War of Lisa Simpson)
- 5. The Planets of the Apes musical (A Fish Called Selma)
- 4. Stupid sexy Flanders (Little Big Mom)
- 3. S-M-R-T (Homer Goes to College)
- 2. Chips in Space (Deep Space Homer)
- 1. The Shinning (Treehouse of Horror V)
As the show continues to deliver laughs with its 35th season, audiences should refresh themselves on the Simpsons’ greatest 9and funniest) moments and remember why they’re still America’s cartoon family.
Talk about using your head. When Bart brings his girlfriend to have dinner with her family, she’s immediately thrown off by their bizarre antics. More specifically, Homer baffles everyone by using his skull as a makeshift flyswatter.
He could’ve either used his corn cob or his drumstick to do the job, but he came up with a solution that kept his entire meal clean. Simple but elegant.
Everyone can agree this scene would look really bad without context. When Bart and Milhouse purchase a watch that can stop time, they take advantage of this Twilight Zone-like artifact to spread mischief throughout Springfield. The best use of it is making Homer’s donuts disappear before his very eyes, to the point he tries to end it all with a knife.
The boys don’t let him off so easily, replacing the blade with a banana and stripping him of his clothes. But when they bring in Nelson to humiliate him even more, they throw a curveball and take Nelson’s clothes too, surprising both him and the audience.
Hank Scorpio is the kind of guy you know is terrible, but you still want to work for anyway. Even though Homer enjoys working for his upbeat and compassionate new boss, he is oblivious to the fact that he is actually a James Bond villain threatening to destroy his enemies.
This comedic contrast is best displayed when Homer expresses his desire to resign, with Hank making time for Homer as he’s burning government agents alive with a flamethrower. Still beats working for Mr. Burns.
Many would agree that The Simpsons’ success began with season 2, and Homer’s epic fail while jumping Springfield Gorge was a landmark moment for the series. This scene puts Homer through the wringer, as he gets hurt at every conceivable moment.
Even as he’s rescued by the paramedics, he can’t avoid hitting his head. But just when the skit seems finished, the ambulance crashes into a tree, and Homer falls right back into the gorge.
In one of Bart’s most gut-busting pranks, the little troublemaker hooks more than a dozen megaphones together to make an ungodly amount of noise while on a field trip to the police station.
With a single word, Bart unleashes a shockwave that ravages the entire town, shattering windows and Homer’s beer bottles in a cartoonish display of pandemonium. And keep in mind, he was only testing the sound.
Whoever thought Planet of the Apes would make for such a catchy musical? Actor Troy McClure (voiced by the late Phil Hartman) stars in this Broadway interpretation of the sci-fi classic, breaking down killer beats as talking apes dance for Dr. Zaius.
It’s a bizarre and surreal spoof that displays the show’s comedic prowess with this fake musical’s unforgettable lyrics. Who can forget this exchange between the ape chorus and McClure? “He can talk, he can talk, he can talk!” “I can siiiiiiiing!”
When Homer goes skiing at a mountain resort, he is surprised to see Flanders in a skimpy suit that leaves little to the imagination. But when Homer slides down the slope by accident, the image of Flanders’s shapely physique blocks out all his ski training.
His legs then split, and when it seems things can’t get worse, several snow piles collide with his groin. But the cherry on top is how Homer immediately picks himself up and takes the lift back up with a smile.
When Homer learns he has been accepted into college, he immediately undercuts this achievement by setting his high school diploma and house ablaze.
If that wasn’t bad enough, as he dances with glee around the flames, Homer misspells the word “smart,” a blooper that the show writers thankfully kept in the episode’s final cut.
When NASA launches Homer into space, he creates hilarious havoc inside his shuttle when he opens a bag of Ruffles in zero gravity. What follows is him eating chips throughout the cabin to the sound of The Blue Danube in a beautiful parody of 2001: A Space Odyssey. He then shatters an ant farm that spooks everyone watching the news, with Kent Brockman uttering his now iconic pledge of allegiance to what he thinks are his new “insect overlords.”
In this iconic parody of The Shining, the Simpsons are assigned to watch over Mr. Burns’ haunted mountain home for the winter. But when Homer discovers there’s no TV or beer in the house, he quickly loses his mind and succumbs to a homicidal rage that’s only intensified by a ghostly Moe.
This entire segment is The Simpsons at its best, firing hysterical jokes on all cylinders in a meticulous riff on Stanley Kubrick’s horror classic. But remember, it’s not The Shining, but The Shinning, as Groundskeeper Willie helpfully reminds Bart (and the viewers). Nobody wants to get sued.
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