Ranking The Simpsons Season 8 – a review
There are some amazing gems in the 8th season of The Simpsons – the Mr. Sparkle episode is obviously a fan favorite, but that barely scratches the surface.
This time, I sorted the episodes into loose categories: FAVORITES, ON THE FENCE AND MEH but didn’t specifically rank them in any sort of order.
MY FAVORITES OF SEASON 8
“Treehouse of Horror VII”
As always, there’s three shorts for the Halloween special: “The Thing and I” reveals Bart’s conjoined twin is living in the Simpsons’ attic, Lisa accidentally creates miniature life in “The Genesis Tub” and Kang and Kodos run for president in “Citizen Kang.”
This is a really good one; if you’ve never seen it, it’s mandatory, and if you have, you know you want to watch it again.
QUOTE: “Go ahead! Throw your vote away!” Kang or Kodos… who can tell?
“You Only Move Twice”
Holy crap, Albert Brooks is amazing as Mr. Scorpio, a James Bond villain parody. Even the B stories with Marge’s inability to fill time now that the new house does all her work for her, Lisa’s allergies, Bart’s trouble at school… This could be the best episode of the season.
HOMER: Oh, the hammock district!
SCORPIO: If you could kill anyone on your way out, you’d really be helping me out!
“Bart After Dark”
Ah, the burlesque house. Enough said, right?
BULLIES: We just learned this place existed!
MARGE: Don’t decide until you’ve heard both songs.
“A Milhouse Divided”
This episode hits me where I live but more than that, it’s one of those instances where The Simpsons tackle a tough issue in a way other shows are afraid to in live action.
“Lisa’s Date with Density”
Since the Simpson kids are stuck at 1, 8 and 10, it’s tough for them to do these coming of age episodes, but they’re usually great when they can work them in. Also, this episode features one of my favorite exchanges ever between Marge and Lisa.
NELSON: Gotta nuke something.
HOMER: You have the power!
MARGE: Well, most women will tell you that you’re a fool to think you can change a man, but those women are quitters!
MARGE: When I first met your father, he was loud, crude, and piggish. But I worked hard on him and now, he’s a whole new person.
MARGE: He’s a whole new person, Lisa.
Flanders finally loses it and it’s amazing!
NED’S MOM: We’ve tried nothing and we’re all out of ideas.
I quote this all the time!
“El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer (The Mysterious Voyage of Homer)”
I loooooooooove this episode – it’s probably my favorite of all time. So. Many. REFERENCES! The Beatles, Peanuts and Johnny Cash, they got Johnny Cash!
“Gimme some inner peace or I’ll mop the floor with ya!”
“Great spiritual quest, Wolfy!”
“The Springfield Files”
There are some great visual gags in this episode; the billboard, Agent Mulder’s ID photo… oh, and sound gags, like the orchestra playing the theme from psycho on the bus. And of course, Leonard Nimoy is in this episode, so you can’t go wrong.
Mary Poppins parody!
SHERRY: If you cut every corner, it’s really not so bad! Everybody does it, even mom and dad!
“The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show”
For some reason, I love, “Hey Poochy, you look like you’ve got something to say! Do you?” I walk around the house saying, “Do you?” all the time. I am a joy to live with, this episode is a joy to watch.
Even in 1997, gay prejudice wasn’t really being tackled on TV, but The Simpsons don’t f@ck around.
HOMER: Queer! That’s what you like to be called, right?
JOHN: Well, that or John.
“Grade School Confidential”
I like the thread of Seymour and Edna in love; I wish they’d of kept it going. Their extreme personalities balanced each other well.
RALPH: Mrs. Krabappel and Principal Skinner were in the closet making babies and I saw
one of the babies and the baby looked at me.
WIGGUM: It looked at you?!?
“The Canine Mutiny”
Two dogs! In one episode! A+!
“In Marge We Trust”
Everybody remembers the B story, Mr. Sparkle! The only thing better than the exchange at the library is the video tape for investors. It’s worth it just for that.
I loved Frank Grimes. He was nice while he lasted. I love the idea of holding a mirror up to the show… good stuff.
“The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase”
I love “Chief Wiggum, P.I.” so much that I don’t care about the shortcomings of “The Love-Matic Grampa” and “The Simpson Family Smile-Time Variety Hour.” I wish the entire episode was just “Chief Wiggum, P.I.,” but there are some worthwhile moments in the other two bits.
ON THE FENCE
“My Sister, My Sitter”
It’s not a bad episode for me, but… I dunno, “Go to bread!” I can watch it. It’s an OK experience, but it’s not a go to episode for this season.
“Homer vs. the Eighteenth Amendment”
Rex Banner wears on me – this episode is just OK.
MARGE: Homer… that’s very clever!
“The Secret War of Lisa Simpson”
I like episodes that show the bond between Lisa and Bart, but this isn’t one of my favorites.
“The Twisted World of Marge Simpson”
It’s one of the episodes were Marge starts a business. For whatever reason, I am not amused by these.
“Mountain of Madness”
Homer and Burns get trapped in the cold on a company retreat… I have no use for this episode.
“The Homer They Fall”
I don’t know what it is about this episode, but I’ve never been a fan… that’s not a pun about the ending, either. I know the show has a lifelong obsession with showing Moe’s softer side and this is one of the first times, but it just doesn’t do it for me.
“Burns, Baby Burns”
It’s always interesting to learn more about Mr. Burns and I love Rodney Dangerfield as Larry… it’s a funny episode, but I don’t love the plot.
LARRY: Hey, who am I talking to?
MR. BURNS: There, under the smiling eyes of four stuffed Eskimos, we expressed our love physically, as was the style at the time.
“Brother from Another Series”
I like the idea of this episode more than the actual execution… and since Frasier has long since faded from my memory, the episode hasn’t aged well.
“The Old Man and the Lisa”
This episode doesn’t do anything for me… too much Burns, I guess.