Sideshow Bob and Tuscany are a natural fit, even if Krusty and Pagliacci are not. Best: Future-Drama. Ever. 2002 “It’s so clean and bland,” Marge says as the family arrives in Toronto. Now as summer looms, The A.V. A great family game is now a great family movie,” she exclaims before walking in on a scene of two people shooting up. Mr Plow – Season four, episode nine. When the town suddenly becomes a hot tourist destination, people flock in and everyone starts seeing dollar signs. [Sean O’Neal], Lisa and Moe, writing poetry together? The family is forced to spend all of their savings to get Bart’s new tattoo removed, and with no money Christmas, Homer… [Danette Chavez], The rare “The Simpsons are going to…” episode that ends with “get us sued,” season-13 episode “Blame It On Lisa” upset its host country of Brazil so much that executive producer James L. Brooks actually had to make a halfhearted apology to the city of Rio de Janeiro, lest its tourist board sue Fox for defamation. Rate. The Simpsons could never make it in a place like Park City: partially because they’re quickly detested, then forgotten, by the festival crowd, but also because Marge can’t stop stumbling into provocative movies with ironic titles. Sigur Rós came aboard to give an otherworldly sound to their “craphole island that looks like the moon and smells like rotten eggs” (Homer’s words), and while the country came in for a ribbing thanks to its taste for fermented shark, “The Saga Of Carl” revels in all its natural (black sand beaches, geothermal phenomena) and supernatural (trolls, fairies) splendor. [Kyle Ryan], Unfortunately blemished by some now-uncomfortable World Trade Center gags, season-nine opener “The City Of New York Vs. Homer Simpson” has since seen time somewhat heal those wounds (and return it to syndication), allowing it to stand as the show’s trash-strewn valentine to Manhattan. “That sure was a fun trip to Las Vegas,” says one. 5. That’s a no-brainer,” brays one Boston football barfly, voiced by Boston-based Bill Burr, one of many Massachusetts celebrities on hand for local color.) 10. Her desire for a child was introduced in “Selma’s Choice,” but the writers hit snooze on Selma’s biological clock until season 16. [Kyle Ryan], More so than her MacGyver fandom, Selma Bouvier’s loneliness was her defining characteristic, used to justify wedding after wedding after wedding. For this particular Christmas, Bart has his eyes set on Bonestorm: An uber-violent take on Mortal Kombat that honestly doesn’t feel that ridiculous 20 years later. “East Boston” and “Freckle Bog”) as both the “land of poetry and the land of bad poetry,” where U2 moves your belongings in mysterious ways and there’s boiled cabbage on tap. [Dennis Perkins], Calling on a writers’ room infamously stuffed with Harvard nerds, the Simpsons’ season-28 trip to Boston scores a lot of comic points for how lived-in and specific the Beantown-bashing is. But the most inspired bit is a seemingly throwaway conversation on the plane: “You liked Rashomon.” “That’s not how I remember it.” [Danette Chavez], Like “The Crepes Of Wrath,” “Homer And Apu” doesn’t send the entire Simpsons clan to India, just Homer and Apu—and even then just for one scene. The Europhile takes to life in the Italian countryside like a gondolier’s oar to water, going so far as to chastise the native speakers for “getting lazy on the second vowel” of their “buongiorno”s. Iiiiit happened. Candyland! The bulk of “Beyond Blunderdome” is about Hollywood as an idea, a dream factory where the Lethal Weapon star whisks the Simpsons away by private jet after Homer is the only member of a test-screening audience to speak his mind about Mr. Smith. (“You gotta cover the mascot. The town then comes together to help save their Christmas. Having gotten Apu fired via ludicrous TV-news undercover sting, Homer travels with Apu to India to visit Kwik-E-Mart’s corporate headquarters to help get his friend’s job back. As those fields of bullfrogs attest, once The Simpsons visits your country, things will never be the same. More than anything, “Marge Be Not Proud” hammers home the message that nothing feels more miserable than truly disappointing the people who love and trust you. But the shudder that runs through a Tanzanian tribesman when Homer exclaims that “the Simpsons are going to Africa” portends a whole slew of jokes ranging from nonsensical (“hippos don’t come from eggs”) to uncomfortable (cracks about frequent regime changes and “bloodless coups”). ), and a surprisingly snippy Flanders family, considering that the story happens minus two entire years of bad neighborino behavior. The season nine episode "Miracle on Evergreen Terrace" takes a story of holiday community and sharing, then twists it like only The Simpsons can. Since joining the games press in 2007, he's written for sites like 1UP, Joystiq, The A.V. As ever in a travelogue episode, the family tours the local hot spots, although there’s a delicately clever care taken in the animation and jokes here that bumps the episode up a notch, as when Homer, attempting to make things up to the affectingly neglected Marge, takes her on a silly, speckled tour of Paris’ “pointillism district.” [Dennis Perkins], The show’s second trip to Brazil is a twofer on top of a twofer: It’s a “Homer gets a new job” episode as well as a “The Simpsons are going to…,” and the running-of-the-bulls setup in the couch gag means twice the international travel. Jokes about universal healthcare, check. Homer is Homer, decked out in all-USA jerkass-wear and brandishing his Carolina Panthers credit card while ordering cold cuts on his falafel and napping in Jesus’ preferred spot in the Church Of The Holy Sepulchre, while the episode takes a few solid jabs at Israel. Bart and Lisa are struggling as parents to connect with their children. (“It’s not that hard,” muses one, guiltily, after Homer gives them the slip.) (Apparently outsourced workers really like coffee breaks and doughnuts, too.) Although the episode has a bounty of Vegas zingers—“Someone dishonoring their marriage vows? But the episode distinguishes itself thanks to some well-timed gags about toad-licking and Jebus-worshiping, plus its nicely developed subplot about Bart taking over as “the man of the house,” and there’s something admirably, knowingly lazy (as opposed to the indifferent laziness of later years) about just letting the episode fall apart as spectacularly as the natives’ Homer-ravaged civilization. While everyone else enjoys a perfect day in New York—seeing Little Italy and Chinatown, taking in a Broadway musical, riding in a carriage through Central Park, visiting the offices of Mad Magazine—it’s Homer’s frustrating dealings with cops and khlav-kalash vendors and his desperate need to pee that really captures the soul of the city. We then witness a sequence of the the Simpsons' Family Christmas photos from the next 30 years. Unless you caught Fox’s famous cartoon family in their interstitial The Tracey Ullman Show shorts, they first entered your life in the form of a Christmas special. Rate. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 29, 1993. Club, Gamasutra, USgamer, and many others. If you’re looking to watch some holiday appropriate Simpsons episodes in this, the season of nog, you can’t go wrong with our top five. The episode’s tabloid inspiration will fade from memory, but the show will continue to chase the high of a $900 collect call, chaswassers, and “Mr. This Citizen Kane homage gets into the backstory of Mr. Burns, recalling his beloved childhood teddy bear, Bobo, that he discarded in exchange for ascension to a life of wealth — and his lifelong quest to recover the treasured object. The Simpsons obviously continued after 2011, but “Holidays of Future Passed’s” status as a possible series finale definitely gives it more emotional oomph. [Kyle Ryan], This classic season-three episode—one of the first to take the Simpsons out of Springfield—finds the family visiting the nation’s capital after Lisa ascends to the finals of a patriotic-essay contest. If anything, this episode proved to be more cheerful and less cynical than the various other Christmas-themed episodes of year's past ("Simpsons Roasting Over a … The first twenty seasons are available on DVD in regions 1, 2, and 4, with the twentieth season … After over 30 years on the air, the anarchic animated family comedy The Simpsons has somehow only aired five Thanksgiving specials throughout its 700+ episodes. Starting with a bag-boy strike and ending with a possible war criminal working as a flight attendant, this wandering storyline just leads to uninspired country. The only scenery he enjoys is a quick montage of famous paintings by French artists on his way to the vineyard that would soon become his prison. 'Tis the 30th Season" — Season 30. [Sean O’Neal], “That’s not a knife,” “Bart Vs. Australia” says to every other Simpsons journey beyond the Springfield city limits. Miracle on Evergreen Terrace. The Simpsons. “Bart Vs. Australia” (season six, episode 16): Australia. “This is a knife,” it finishes, now brandishing a spoon. Homer and Flanders pass a pair of Ralph Steadman-esque figures on the highway. But the real destination is Japan—specifically, Tokyo—and all its advanced technology and mockery of American mediocrity. “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” isn’t just the first Simpsons episode to air; it also helped save the show. 5.7 (263) 0. The trip is a silly justification of his throwaway joke of a surname—the Nordic patronym Carlson—but the way the show transports itself to Iceland is anything but half-assed. " Holidays of Future Passed " is the ninth episode of the twenty-third season of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. Rate. Bart cooks up a story about burglars taking the gifts—and the tree for some reason—but soon caves when he can’t take the guilt of seeing the citizens of Springfield open their hearts and wallets for The Simpsons. (Since when did the show ever have something nice to say about George H.W. And with that, we are out of money.”), as does the Simpsons’ country of origin (“Foreigners are no longer welcome”). At this time of year, in this part of the world, localized entirely outside of Homer, Moe, and Lenny’s rental car? Episodes of The Simpsons have won dozens of awards, including 31 Emmys (ten for Outstanding Animated Program), 30 Annies, and a Peabody. Detours. Homer’s plan backfires, though, when he misinterprets some Buddhist advice from Lisa and steals the townspeople’s gifts with the intent of burning them in the town square. Considering the current controversy surrounding The Simpsons’ depiction of Apu, this scattered season-17 trip to India at least brings in an actual native speaker, Indian journalist Meher Tatna, to voice “various Indian women,” according to IMDB. When audiences think of the ways in which The Simpsons honors the holidays, fans likely immediately jump to the fact that the animated series delivers viewers a Halloween-themed … It only takes a few days in the home of the Sundance Film Festival (“Where Parker Posey meets parka-ed posers”) for Principal Skinner and Superintendent Chalmers to go from swag-grubbing novice producers to jaded industry types stonewalling Park City darling John C. Reilly. There are some solid digs at oppressive regimes, including a plaque in Tiananmen Square that claims “nothing happened” there in 1989. After Thanksgiving dinner, Marge announces it is time to take the annual Christmas card family photo. Not in Las Vegas!” and “Las Vegas doesn’t care for out-of-towners”—the most inspired bit pays homage to Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas. Many shows have done the “presents don’t matter” holiday message before, but only The Simpsons would deploy this moral using mob justice. Homer smuggles a snake into Paris (because he’s Homer), leading to the return of Bart’s French nemeses Cesar and Ugolin, whose criminal schemes and Simpson-pursuing skills remain wanting. S32, Ep5. He’d get his fill of the country in season 17. Instead, it jumps 30 years into the future for a glimpse at where Marge and Homer’s parenting have brought Lisa, Bart, and Maggie. Of course, since much of the plot sees Homer dragging the family on a “hate-cation” after the suspiciously Patriots-esque Boston football team cheats its way to a win over the hapless Springfield Atoms, there’s plenty of ammunition for the episode’s running attacks on that franchise’s, let’s call it “moral relativism” when it comes to winning. [Dennis Perkins], What is it with foreign travel that makes Homer imagine himself as a god? Ultimately, “‘Tis the Fifteenth Season” acts as a tribute to Christmas specials of the past, which inspire Homer to change his greedy ways. [Kyle Ryan], Ultimately, season 11’s “Missionary Impossible” cares less about the culture of Micronesia than it does the distinguished television of Great Britain (“If they’re not having a go with a bird, they’re having a row with a wanker!”), and the plotline of Homer fleeing to the Pacific Islands to escape a horde of pissed-off PBS celebrities counts as one of the show’s flimsiest travel premises. 9. (Neither does guest Sacha Baron Cohen, humorously rambling as the world’s rudest tour guide.) Having run for over 30 years and 649 episodes, The Simpsons has had its fair share of Christmas specials. If things hadn’t worked out in The Simpsons’ favor, the show would span 22 seasons, neatly bookended by two Christmas episodes. Random takedown of Canadians’ inferior basketball skills, check. To be fair, the animators’ rendering of a dozen or so varieties of po’ boy are pretty satisfying, as far as empty comedy calories go. Typical of a year that also found Lisa paired off with Fat Tony and Cletus’ respective kids, season 18’s “Moe’N’a Lisa” still offers some bright spots amid its rather algorithmic premise—all of them located in Vermont. [Erik Adams], Another Homer and Ned on-the-road episode sees Flanders shamed into bringing the Simpsons along to the Holy Land as a test of his Christian forbearance. Loaded with gags and quotable dialogue—“I’m acting the way America acts best: unilaterally!”—the episode also boasts an impressive array of guests, including Ian McKellen, J.K. Rowling, and Tony Blair, the first (and only) sitting head of state to appear on the show. “‘Tis the Fifteenth Season” may not hit the same heights as other Christmas Simpsons, but its dark ending—where Springfieldians mistake a rescue flare shot by a dying Hans Moleman for a vision of god—ties an appropriately cynical bow on this holiday episode. D&D Beyond And, once Ned and Homer find themselves on a leaky raft full of life-saving junk food, all it recalls is the simple comic poetry of Ned’s long ago “Godspeed, little doodle.” [Dennis Perkins], Traveling to countries with universal healthcare in two separate episodes in consecutive seasons is as much a reflection of the dismal state of U.S. healthcare as it is the tapped creative well in The Simpsons’ writers’ room. “The Italian Job” is ultimately as light on humor as it is Mafia references, but one thing writer John Frink and director Mark Kirkland get right is the pairing of character and place. Given the current debate around Apu, it’s a little cringe-inducing that the company’s president appears to be a Hindu pandit sitting cross-legged on a mountaintop. But while this season-29 episode’s truly impressive visual depiction of the streets of the Big Easy goes a long way toward erasing any lingering resentment over Oh, Streetcar!’s musical slanders, “Lisa Gets The Blues” largely neglects everything else in favor of a long, long montage of Homer the food monster chomping his way through literally every signature dish in town. Lucy Liu guest stars as a Chinese bureaucrat who finds common ground with Selma, who also works for a “cruel and faceless empire: the DMV.” But first, they take in the sights, including the Great Wall Of China and Mao Zedong’s tomb, where Homer comments on the chairman’s “angelic” face and genocidal tendencies. “Eh, too many kids,” says the other. When Marge refuses to buy him such an expensive, violent gift, Bart shoplifts a copy from the Try-N-Save, setting up some of the more heart-wrenching moments ever seen on The Simpsons. Buy me Bonestorm or go to hell. Chances are if you’ve thought about those cities/crooners in the past 22 years, it’s been through the filter of this episode. A typically impulsive decision to buy a plow truck turns into a … Ever. This “affectionate love letter to Ireland” became a part of the show’s 20th-anniversary celebrations, and managed not to rub any of the Emerald Isle’s inhabitants the wrong way. The mismatched pilgrims in this season-21 entry tour the requisite Jerusalem sights, rendered throughout with a beige sameness that doesn’t do the Jerusalem tourist board any favors. 8 Nov. 2020 The Seven Beer Itch. The Simpsons Movie, a feature-length film, was released in theaters worldwide on July 26 and 27, 2007 and grossed US$526.2 million worldwide. As such, we’re about to get in the holiday mood, Disney+ style. The episode never aired in Japan, thanks in part to the scene in which Homer throws the emperor, Akihito, into a pile of unwashed sumo thongs. Here, unwisely selected by Mister Burns to head up the nuclear plant’s new, union-free digs in India, Homer loses himself, Apocalypse Now style, once the Indian employees flock to his book-purloined management style. Simpson Christmas (Tracy Ullman show The Simpsons Short) Simpson’s roasting on an open fire (Season 1 episode 1) Marge be not proud (Season 7 episode … Of course, that was 18 years and plenty of new contenders ago, and while the Simpsons’ Florida adventure hasn’t become any more linear—it stumbles drunkenly from Homer seeking a cure for insomnia-fueled insanity, to his becoming the “King Of Spring Break,” to the whole family living as fugitive hillbillies after accidentally murdering the state’s reptile mascot—there’s at least some classic John Swartzwelder absurdism buried beneath the gimmicky Kid Rock cameos. Rate. When Westworld’s Sidse Babett Knudsen shows up as one of the many beautiful characters who unaccountably fall for Homer, it’s really time to pack it in. And despite being a possible series finale, this episode doesn’t focus on The Simpsons we know and love. After watching “Mr. And the full month between said special and the first season’s start only made The Simpsons’ take on Christmas more popular. S13, Ep18 28 Apr. But … The definition of a tossed-off outing (both the episode and the trip), “Fland Canyon” also short-changes its national-treasure setting with some indifferent animation and design (how hard is it to draw a scorpion fight, really? “Bart ruins Christmas” seems to be a common thread throughout these holiday Simpsons episodes. Surprisingly, “Holidays of Future Passed” could very well have been The Simpsons series finale when it aired in 2011. Though he didn’t helm the episode, director David Silverman took hundreds of photos of the city so that animators could create a detailed replica, giving a touch of gritty, urban realism to a story about Homer and the family tracking down their car after a disgruntled Barney leaves it parked illegally between the Twin Towers. Say hello to the Simpsons. (See: the Logan’s Run lifeclock on an MTV VJ; Homer hallucinating Charlie Rose and Robert Evans threatening to kill him.) Submit. 6. The episode revolves around the fictional holiday "Whacking Day", celebrated annually, in which the citizens of Springfield drive snakes into the town square, then fatally club them.. [Erik Adams], This season-17 episode hits a trifecta of moth-eaten Simpsons premises: Not only does Homer fall ass-backwards into a trip abroad (to Italy) and a new-ish job (driver/courier for Mr. Burns), but Sideshow Bob returns (along with Kelsey Grammer, who voices the character). (“Your American tax dollars at work,” reads a sign at the airport.) Since its official debut on December 17, 1989, The Simpsons has been synonymous with the holiday season. (And is never mentioned again.) Bart’s attempt to win his mom over again gives “Marge Be Not Proud” the most heartwarming ending of any Christmas episode—one the writers aren’t afraid to immediately undercut afterwards with a look at the lousy (unbeknownst to her) video game she bought him. While most year-long TV series typically produce an annual holiday episode, The Simpsons tends to be much choosier when it comes to Christmas content. When Lisa discovers the surly bartender’s beautifully wounded soul and helps him channel it into a literary sensation, Moe and the family head to the Wordloaf conference in rustic New England, home of hayrides, duckpin bowling, and maple-syrup jokes. [Sean O’Neal], As filled with endlessly quotable lines as Knoxville’s Sunsphere is with 16,000 boxes of unsold wigs, the season-seven classic “Bart On The Road” takes a freewheeling journey into the heart of America to see all the wonders and spring break-squandering disappointments it contains. As it’s done with every other cornerstone of family sitcoms, The Simpsons has taken the vacation episode to new heights (and lows). But, to be fair, Bart’s Christmas-ruining in “Miracle on Evergreen Terrace” comes about as a complete accident—though one fueled by selfishness. But what really makes this particular Simpsons destination episode work so well is its lovely metaphor of “the third ball,” calling as it does on the uniquely New England sport of candlepin bowling. Keep in touch. Although Yeardley Smith does admirable work in calling out the names of cheeses, Bob is actually in the driver’s seat throughout. But in seasons 28 and 29, respectively, Homer takes Grampa to Cuba and Denmark for medical treatment. Mmmm, chicken. “Roasting on an Open Fire” doesn’t quite have the same energy as the more quoted episodes, but as an introduction to 30 years of The Simpsons, it certainly does a great job. 8. That’s fine, though, since this darkly comic Christmas adventure does a much better job of introducing the core cast than the true first episode where Bart squares off against his one-time enemy, The Babysitter Bandit. Simpson, shush: Disparaging the boot is a bootable offense!” In failing to restore U.S.-Australian relations (to the chagrin of a slimy diplomat played by Phil Hartman), “Bart Vs. Australia” tweaked “ugly American” conventions and permanently established the show’s foreign policy. Consumerism is the running theme of this Simpsons episode, and even the usually levelheaded Marge gets in on the action by opening up a bed and breakfast for t… Homer refuses a variety of illegal payments in an interchangeable picture-postcard locations, but one Simpson winds up enriched by the experience: Marge really gets to put her Portuguese lessons to work. Club is ranking these episodes of a vacational nature, counting down from the Worst. They're unique, they're extraordinary and they're yellow. In its 29 seasons—and counting—the animated series has journeyed to France, Australia, China, Iceland, and the town of Bronson, where even the children are stone-cold badasses. Take your favorite fandoms with you and never miss a beat. ), You’d think that an episode about Lisa’s crisis of musical faith being cured by a family trip to New Orleans and an inspirational appearance of the jazzman nephew of Lisa’s late mentor Bleeding Gums Murphy would carry some emotional weight. Disillusioned, she pens a savagely cynical new essay, “Cesspool On The Potomac,” which fails to win the contest but quickly spreads through D.C. and costs the dirty congressman his job. 7. But the inevitable Homer-Ned rapprochement comes whooshing past like the sandstorm that traps Homer in the desert, leaving him with a sun-baked case of Jerusalem syndrome, his messianic fervor at least uniting Jerusalem’s three major religions in the universal love of delicious, delicious chicken. [Kyle Ryan], Sometimes, a destination imprints itself on the characters of The Simpsons, rather than the other way around. And, Godzilla-related turbulence jokes aside, the episode strives for some authenticity with George Takei voicing a sardonic but composed game-show host. Christmas special seems ingenious in retrospect, Fox originally planned to premiere the season! Hank Azaria does pop up briefly as Apu ’ s as perfect an episode the. 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