Disney Plus: 16 Essential The Simpsons Episodes You Need To Rewatch Right Now

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The arrival of the Disney+ streaming service means there’s a lot of new content to watch. From the entire Disney vault of films, to new original shows like The Mandalorian, the live-action Star Wars series. Still, while you’re wading through the overabundance of TV shows and movies you’re now buried in, there’s one important piece of the library that can’t be ignored.

Thanks to Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox and 20th Television, it now owns The Simpsons and is wasting no time in making use of the franchise. All 30 seasons of The Simpsons are available to stream. That’s 662 episodes of the beloved animated series.

Surely you don’t have time to revisit it all, though. There are only so many hours in the day, plus now you have a bunch of other Disney stuff to binge on the service. Luckily, GameSpot has come up with the 16 most essential episodes to revisit. Check them out below, in chronological order, and enjoy your time in Springfield. Be warned, though, the image quality is a bit off thanks to the aspect ratio the episodes are presented in.

While planning out your Disney+ binge time, also make sure to take a look at every Marvel and Star Wars title available on the service, along with the best movies from the ’80s and ’90s. If that is somehow still not enough for you, we’ve also dug up the best hidden gems and forgotten titles Disney+ has to offer.

1. Kamp Krusty

Season 4, Episode 1

What happens when Bart and Lisa get sent to an awful summer camp bearing Krusty the Clown’s name? A rebellion, of course. After getting stuck at the camp for the summer, Bart leads a group of fellow campers to rise up against the camp director which, of course, makes it onto the local news. This Season 4 episode is a prime example of just how wild The Simpsons could get with a premise as simple as two kids getting sent to camp. — Chris E. Hayner

2. New Kid on the Block

Season 4, Episode 8

“My shirt’s chafing me. Do you mind if I take it off?” That quote comes from Jimbo Jones care of this episode. It’s strangely a quote from The Simpsons I think about a lot because of how bizarre–in a comedic way–it is, and it leads to Jimbo’s pants allegedly chafing him as well, as he tries to get naked for Bart’s babysitter, Laura Powers. This moment is a weird icing on the cake for me because this is a brilliant coming-of-age story for Bart. He falls in love with his older neighbor, who is babysitting him, and learns about heartbreak for the first time. Who doesn’t remember the first person they were infatuated with at 10 years old? It’s a story with a lot of heart behind it, and was written by Conan O’Brien. — Mat Elfring

3. Marge vs. the Monorail

Season 4, Episode 12

It seems like every sitcom has at least one musical episode, and The Simpsons had a few. However, the best of the whole lot is “Marge vs. the Monorail.” Written by Conan O’Brien, the story follows a traveling salesman named Lyle Laney who lands in Springfield and sells the town on the idea of installing one of his monorails. However, Marge quickly finds out that the previous towns Laney has visited and sold the trains to are all in ruins. So it’s up to her to stop him. Musicals may not be for everyone, but this is a perfect episode of The Simpsons. It’s funny, quick-witted, and has an exciting and well-developed storyline. — Mat Elfring

4. Lisa’s Rival

Season 6, Episode 2

It’s the episode where Lisa plays the anagram game and says, “Jeremy’s Iron.” That’s kind of how all my memories with the episodes I love start. I’m reminded of a joke, and quickly realize that the story surrounding it is utterly brilliant. “Lisa’s Rival” is about a new girl moving to town who is younger than Lisa but is better than the Simpsons’ middle child at everything. This makes Lisa crack as she turns her new friendship into a competition. It’s a wonderful reminder that friendship isn’t about comparing who you are or what makes you great, but the moments and feelings people share with each other, a lesson Lisa learns by the end of the episode. Also, I still love the whole side-story of Homer guarding a pile of sugar after he and Bart stole it from an overturned truck. — Mat Elfring

5. Itchy & Scratchyland

Season 6, Episode 4

There are plenty of reasons to recommend this hilarious send-up of Westworld (the 1973 film, not the eventual HBO series), wherein The Simpsons travel to an extremely violent amusement park at the kids’ behest. There’s the sharp satire of Disney, long before the show was hosted on Disney+. There’s the robot killing spree the episode ends with, complete with dry cool action catchphrases (“hey mouse, say cheese.”) There’s the absolutely perfect joke where Homer buys $1100 worth of “Itchy Money,” seconds before finding out that none of the park’s amenities accept it. But if you really want to understand why The Simpsons is held in such high regard, look no further than the sequence where The Simpsons drive to the park itself, which is packed with hilarious, sharp observational gags about the perils of a family road trip–the joys of unusual chain restaurants, the need to stop at every tourist trap, the father-knows-best shortcuts that turn out to be disasters. It takes what should be the most mundane part of an episode that, again, ends in a battle against evil robots, and turns it into something special. Plus, Euro Itchy & Scratchy Land is open for business, and who are you to resist it, eh? — James O’Connor

6. And Maggie Makes Three

Season 6, Episode 13

“And Maggie Makes Three” is The Simpsons in its prime, deftly balancing a story of mundane domesticity with hilarity. One of the series’ most successful flashback episodes, the plot takes us back to when our favorite family had only Bart and Lisa. While the show often takes Homer in zany directions and juggling remarkable jobs, this one is incredibly grounded: Homer realizes that with only two kids, he can just barely afford to quit his soul-crushing job at the nuclear power plant and pursue his dream of working at a bowling alley. It’s fertile ground for great gags like shining his head in the Shine-O Ball-O, or his buffoonish ignorance as the entire town obliquely comments on Marge’s pregnancy. But couched in the pitch-perfect jokes is one of the sweetest stories the show has ever told, of the compromises parents make for their children. Homer is often portrayed as somewhere between neglectful and downright abusive, but in glimpses, you get to see a gentle man who loves his family, and this episode is a beautiful example of it. — Steve Watts

7. Who Shot Mr. Burns? Parts 1 & 2

Season 6, Episode 25 and Season 7, Episode 1

This two-parter might be the biggest cultural impact The Simpsons has ever had in its run. The sixth season ended with a cliffhanger that saw Mr. Burns shot and dying, after attempting to block out the sun, casting Springfield into everlasting darkness that his power plant would have to brighten up. Over the summer, a contest was held allowing fans to guess the culprit and a parody of America’s Most Wanted recapping the episode. The event culminated with the Season 7 premiere in which, of course, the culprit was revealed to be… Wait, why would we spoil that? Go watch the episodes now! — Chris E. Hayner

8. Marge Be Not Proud

Season 7, Episode 11

“Marge Be Not Proud” manages to huggle some of my favorite jokes from the series with a story that’s a turning point between Bart and Marge. There’s a new video game out, Bonestorm, that Bart really wants. His parents won’t buy it for him, so he decides to try and steal it, getting caught in the process. Marge sees that her son is growing up, and it changes their relationship. Obviously, by the end of it all, things go back to normal. While Milhouse typing his name into Bonestorm is a great moment, my favorite–by far–is the closing credits where Bart is playing Lee Carvallo’s Putting Challenge. “Ball is in… parking lot. Would you like to play again? You have selected, ‘No.'” — Mat Elfring

9. Treehouse of Horror VI

Season 7, Episode 6

You can’t go wrong with most any Treehouse of Horror, The Simpsons’ annual Halloween special that began early in Season 2. Each of these is structured as three short, horror-themed stories that often parody classic movies and shows, giving us the likes of “The Shinning” (Treehouse of Horror V) and “Citizen Kang” (ToH VII). Among the best is Season 7’s Treehouse of Horror VI, which is probably most well-known for giving us the all-time line “lousy Smarch weather.” But it’s a stacked lineup: We get not just that story (“Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace,” a Night on Elm Street-inspired tale of Groundskeeper Willie murdering kids in their dreams), but also “Attack of the 50 Foot Eyesores” (where giant mascots come to life and Paul Anka shows up to sing a song) and “Homer Cubed” (where Homer enters a portal that transforms him into 3D and ultimately enters the real world). Iconic stuff, even by Treehouse of Horror standards. — Chris Pereira

10. You Only Move Twice

Season 8, Episode 2

Having the Simpsons family move to a new town is the kernel of an idea for a good episode on its own. And indeed, seeing Bart, Lisa, and Marge deal with their new surroundings is enjoyable, but it’s Homer’s new employer, Hank Scorpio–a legit, full-on Bond-style supervillain–who makes this an especially memorable episode. He’s played by Albert Brooks, who seems to delight in improvising lines about hammocks while playing a maniac who wields a flamethrower but also happens to be a kind, pleasant, and supportive boss to Homer. “You Only Move Twice” is an essential episode just to enjoy Brooks’ performance, but it also comes with the added bonus of letting you engage with a long-running question among fans: When Homer tells Hank he has seen someone say goodbye to a shoe before, is he referring to Hank doing so moments before, or something else? In your heart, you surely know the right answer. — Chris Pereira

11. The Springfield Files

Season 8, Episode 10

If you watch this episode as an adult, you’ll appreciate the X-Files references and the cameos from David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, and Leonard Nimoy. If you watched it as a kid, it probably scarred you for life. This episode, in which Homer has a “close encounter of the blurred kind” while stumbling home from Moe’s through the woods, is the freakiest the Simpsons got outside a Treehouse of Horror–especially if you believe that the truth is out there. — Mike Rougeau

12. The Twisted World of Marge Simpson

Season 8, Episode 11

Honestly, there should be more Marge-centric episodes of The Simpsons. Anytime the show focuses on her, the result is going to be entertaining. You may remember this one as the episode where Marge buys a pretzel cart and starts her own business that–thanks to Homer–gets her tangled up with the mafia. The episode is hilarious and helped to define Marge as a person outside of the Simpson house, which is exciting. — Chris E. Hayner

13. The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show

Season 8, Episode 14

This entire episode of The Simpsons is a knock at when sitcoms lose steam and add a new character in hopes of gaining the audience back. Growing Pains, The Flintstones, Married With Children, The Brady Bunch, and numerous other shows followed this formula, and it was successful at times. Itchy & Scratchy isn’t doing too hot, so they add a dog, Poochie. Meanwhile, The Simpson family adds a new, hip roommate, Roy. The new animated dog–voiced by Homer Simpson–is a disaster, and they have to pull the plug, sending Poochie back to space, where he died on the way to his home planet, off screen. For a show in its 8th season at the time, it’s incredibly reflective on how sitcoms try to stay relevant and do something they think is unique–and it’s totally not. — Mat Elfring

14. Homer’s Enemy

Season 8, Episode 23

Back in 1997, the world was introduced to the one and only Frank Grimes in what is among the best all-time Simpsons episodes, “Homer’s Enemy.” The essential episode chronicles the story of a hard-working and down-on-his-luck new Springfield Power Plant employee who is confounded and ultimately blindingly angered by the success Homer has at work and at home, despite being a complete idiot. Frank, arguably the most tragic Simpsons character, never overcomes his disdain for Homer, and he pays with his life. Frank Grimes, or Grimey as he liked to be called, will live on forever in our hearts and minds–and on Disney+. — Eddie Makuch

15. Behind the Laughter

Season 11, Episode 22

The Simpsons will never end, despite the drop in quality and lower (but still very strong) ratings. But if we could go back and nominate any episode from the show’s run as the point where it would have made sense to wrap things up, “Behind the Laughter” would be a strong contender. By breaking the show’s format and exploring the behind-the-scenes drama on the Simpsons set via a spot-on VH1 Behind the Music parody, the four credited writers were able to perfectly examine The Simpsons’ status as a cultural phenomenon, while also serving up some tremendously funny jokes. The Simpsons makes fun of its own popularity several times throughout the show’s run, but Behind the Laughter is the perfect summation of why the show was, in its early years, such a big deal. — James O’Connor

16. The Simpsons Movie

2007

Sure, this is technically not an episode of the show. However, not only is The Simpsons Movie available to stream on Disney+, it’s great. While it would have been amazing to get a Simpsons movie sooner than 18 seasons in–or a sequel in the years that followed–this remains a highlight of the franchise. Plus, it gave us the greatness that is Spider-Pig. — Chris E. Hayner

Source: Game Spot Mashup