The 20 Most Cromulent Simpsons Episodes of All-Time: #1 Thursday, July 26, 2007Posted by cdnmoose in CDNMoose, the simpsons, total cromulence.
Tags: Calling the big one 'Bitey', Conan is Yaweh, Eat who I eat, Even better than the softball episode, inconvenient haircuts
“The Simpsons Movie” arrives tomorrow, and (perhaps foolishly) I have much hope.
Doing recaps of the Cromulent 20 has made my earlier cynicism vanish like Dr. Nick’s confidence at a malpractice trial, and I just can’t friggin’ wait to be in the theatre to see it all unfold.
To see if the movie will take us back to the ’90s when the show was absolutely a must-see event on Sunday…er…Thursday nights.
However, since the movie opens up tomorrow, it also brings us to the close of the big list. The list that started so “controversially” with the softball episode in the #20 slot.
Yes, SA and I know we left off some deserving episodes (I slapped my head after realizing we didn’t have any Fat Tony episodes (“Homer the Clown” or “Bart the Murderer” would both have been deserving choices), no Duffman, no Truckasaurus, no fishbulb, no eight-babied Apu, no Burns’ Heir, no Homer going on fat-guy disability on purpose…
The fact is, the show probably has 50 *great* episodes over its run, and 100 very, very good ones. They couldn’t all make the Cromulent 20.
But 19 others did, and SA’s recap of One Fish shows that it was very deserving of the #1 slot on its own, but when it came right down to it, there’s only one word that deserves to be here in the #1 spot, and most of you know exactly what that one word is…
Written by Conan O’Brien
Season 4, Episode 12
|20. Homer At The Bat
19. Hurricane Neddy
18. Homer Goes to College
17. Homer’s Enemy
16. The Cartridge Family
15. 22 Short Films About Springfield
14. Treehouse of Horror II
13. El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer
12. Mr. Plow
11. Kamp Krusty
|10. Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk
9. Bart Sells His Soul
8. Homer the Heretic
7. Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington
6. The New Kid on the Block
5. Lisa the Greek
4. A Streetcar Named Marge
3. Last Exit To Springfield
2. One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish
1. Marge vs. the Monorail
Springfield gets rooked into buying a Monorail from North Haverbrook’s arch-enemy.
Why This Episode Is Particularly Cromulent
This is hands-down Phil Hartman’s greatest performance on the show (and he was always such a treat), and I would argue it’s one of his best performances ever. He’s wonderful.
It’s also another Conan episode, and my (probably non-sexual) man-crush on Conesy means I have to rate one of his shows at the top. The man knows funny.
The show has some great visual gags like the toxic waste dumping (“Toxic Waste: Do not Eat”) as well as the shots in the park of the disposal…
“That’s ridiculous…the last tree held 9 drums!”
P.S. Yes, that’s “M.B. + H.S.” carved in the tree…very nice.
Small, almost throwaway gags like the courtroom scene (where there is “Liberty and Justice for Most“), Burns pays his $3M fine in cash with the wallet in his front-right pocket. “Oh, and I’ll take that statue of justice, too!“, Homer’s “File Photo” of him smoking 100 cigarettes, Lanley’s incriminating doodles…
Smithers’ and “Mr. Snrub”‘s Batman-esque getaway always makes me chuckle…
“I like the way Snrub thinks…”
Truly, the episode is quotable start-to-finish. The “Memorable Quotes” section below is almost a word-for-word transcript of the whole show. It’s that good.
You know what else is nice? Small-h “heart”. Bart does admire his father. Homer does save the day. Homer *isn’t* the cause of the problem this time.
And though this episode almost kicked off the “Homer has a new, wacky job” theme that got a little tired, man…it does it in style.
Notes and Observations
- The “mad” scientist was modeled after Max von Sydow
- George Takei turned down the “Star Trek guest” role because he belongs to many pro-public transport groups, so he wanted many changes in the script to make the Monorail not so bad. (P.S. Lame, Sulu…Lame). So, they asked and were shocked when Nimoy (who they wanted all along) actually said “yes”.
- Homer’s uniform is a Star Wars thing…in an early version of the script, Marge says Homer looks like “Darth Vader without the helmet”.
- The guys at the end falling off the “Escalator to Nowhere” are renderings of the show’s directors at the time.
Homer (to a “Flintstones” tune):
Simpson! Homer Simpson!
He’s the greatest guy in histor-y!
From the…town of Springfield!
He’s about to hit a chestnut tree!
Smithers: Well, sir, where should we dump batch? Playground?
Burns: No…All those bald children are arousing suspicion. To the park!
Homer: Heh heh heh. Oh, Andy Capp. You wife-beating drunk!
Virtual Reality Khan: Hello, Lisa!
I’m Genghis Khan.
You’ll go where I go!
Defile what I defile!
Eat who I eat!
Marge: Well, I think we should spend the money on something the whole town can be proud of
Homer: Like a giant billboard that says “No fact chicks”?
Quimby: We will now hear suggestions for the disbursement of the two million dollars.
Lisa: Don’t you mean three million dollars?
Quimby: Of course. How silly of me.
Apu: Pardon me, but I would like to see this money spent on more police officers. I have been shot eight times this year. And as a result, I almost missed work.
Wiggum: Cry baby…
Marge: My name is Marge Simpson, and I have an idea. It may sound a little boring at first…
Quimby: Chat away. I’ll just amuse myself with these pornographic playing cards.
Granpa: I ain’t fer it, I’m aggin’ it!
Lanley: You know, a town with money is like the mule with a spinning wheel. Nobody knows how he got it, and danged if he knows how to use it.
Homer (late to the joke): Heh heh…mule.
Quimby: We’re twice as smart as the people of Shelbyville. Just tell us your idea, and we’ll vote for it!
Lanley: I’ve sold monorails to Brockway, Ogdenville and North Haverbrook.
And by gum, it put them on the map…
Lanley: Well, sir, there’s nothing on earth Like a genuine, bona fide, electrified, six-car Monorail!
What’d I say?
Lanley: What’s it called?
Patty & Selma: Monorail!
Lanley: That’s right! Monorail!
<the crowd chants “Monorail!”>
Miss Hoover: I hear those things are awfully loud…
Lanley: It glides as softly as a cloud.
Apu: Is there a chance the track could bend?
Lanley: Not on your life, my Hindu friend.
Barney: What about us brain-dead slobs?
Lanley: You’ll all be given cushy jobs.
Abe: Were you sent here by the devil?
Lanley: No, good sir, I’m on the level.
Wiggum: The ring came off my pudding can.
Lanley: Take my pen knife, my good man. I swear it’s Springfield’s only choice…Throw up your hands and raise your voice!
Lanley: What’s it called?
Lanley: Once again…
Marge: But Main Street’s still all cracked and broken…
Bart: Sorry, Mom, the mob has spoken!
All: Monorail! Monorail! Monorail!
Homer: Mono… D’oh!
Marge: I still think we should have spent that money to fix Main Street.
Homer: Well, you should’ve written a song like that guy.
Lanley: Wondering if your dolly can ride the Monorail for free?.
Lisa: Hardly. I’d like you to explain why we should build a mass-transit system in a small town with a centralised population.
Lanley: Ha ha…young lady, that’s the most intelligent question I’ve ever been asked.
Lanley: Oh, I could give you an answer, but the only ones who would understand it would be you and me…and that includes your teacher.
Lanley: Next question…You there, eating the paste.
TV: Coming soon, it’s “Truckasaurus: The Movie”, starring Marlon Brando as the voice of John Truckasaurus.
John T: You crazy car…I don’t know whether to eat you or kiss you…
Lanley (on TV): Are you stuck in a dead-end job?
Lanley: Are you squandering the precious gift of life in front of the idiot box?
Homer: What’s it to ya?
Lanley: Are you on your third beer of the evening?
Homer: Does whiskey count as beer?
Lanley: Well maybe it’s time you joined the exciting field of Monorail conducting by enrolling in the Lanley Institute.
Voiceover: Actual institute may not match photo…
Homer: Marge, I want to be a Monorail conductor.
Marge: Oh Homer, no…
Homer: But it’s my life-long dream!
Marge: Your dream was to run on the field during a baseball game, and you did it last year, remember?
Lanley: Good evening. Before we begin, is anyone here an investigative reporter?
Investigative Reporter: I am, and she is.
Lanley: Well, I’d like you to please leave.
Investigative Reporter: Should we take our hidden camera?
Lanley: Would you?
Investigative Reporter: Let’s go, Phil.
Bart: True or false? You can get mono from riding the monorail.
Homer: Hmmmm…False! No, wait…maybe it’s true…
Bart: No, you were right! It’s false! Wow, you really are gonna be a Monorail conductor.
Homer: That’s right boy…
Bart: You know, I used to think you were stuck in an emasculating, go-nowhere job.
Homer: Heh heh…kids.
Bart: But now? I want to follow in your footsteps.
Homer: Do you want to change your name to Homer, Junior? The kids can call you HoJu!
Bart: I’ll get back to you…
Lanley: So then, “mono” means “one”. And “rail” means “rail”. And that concludes our intensive three-week course.
Marge: Homer, there’s a family of possums in here!
Homer: I call the big one “Bitey”.
Lanley: How much did you see?
Marge: Nothing incriminating…
Cobb: My name is Sebastian Cobb. Lanley hired me to build his monorail. He cut corners everywhere: bad wiring, faulty brakes, and the celebrity on the maiden voyage was Gallagher.
Quimby: Now, I’d like to turn things over to our Grand Marshall, Mr. Leonard Nimoy.
Nimoy: I’d say this vessel could do at least Warp Five.
<the crowd chuckles>
Quimby: And let me say, “May the Force Be With You!”
Nimoy: Do you even know who I am?
Quimby: I think I do. Weren’t you one of the Little Rascals?
Marge: We’re too late!
Cobb: I shouldn’t have stopped for that haircut. Sorry.
Marge: How fast are they going?
Cobb: judging by your husband’s cowardly scream….180 miles an hour.
Quimby: Alright, I’m in charge here.
Wiggum: Oh, run along Quimby. I think they’re dedicating a phone booth somewhere.
Quimby: Watch it, you talking tub of donut batter!
Wiggum: Hey, I got pictures of you, Quimby.
Quimby: You don’t scare me. That could be anyone’s ass!
Wiggum: Hey, according to the charter, as chief constable, I’m supposed to get a pig every month..and ‘two comely lasses of virtue true’
Quimby: Keep the pig. How many broads do I get?
Operator 1: Wait a minute! We could just shut off the power!
Operator 2: No such luck– it’s solar powered
Operator 1: Solar power…When will people learn?
Nimoy: A solar eclipse…The cosmic ballet…goes on.
Passenger: Does anyone want to switch seats?
Homer: Are we gonna die, son?
Bart: Yeah, but at least we’re going to take a lot of innocent people with us.
Marge: There’s a man here who thinks he can help you.
Marge: No, he’s a scientist.
Homer: Batman’s a scientist…
Marge: It’s not Batman!
McAllister: Yarr! Ya call that an anchor?
Homer: Donuts. Is there anything they can’t do?
Nimoy: Well, my work is done here.
Barney: What do you mean, your work is done? You didn’t do anything!
Nimoy: Didn’t I?
“And that was the only folly the people of Springfield ever embarked upon. Except for the popsicle stick skyscraper. And the 50-foot magnifying glass. And that escalator to nowhere.”
Pretty simple math here, folks…
Mono = One, Rail = Rail
“Marge vs. the Monorail” = The Most Cromulent Simpsons Episode of All-Time
Thanks for hanging with us for all of the Cromulent 20. It’s been a blast…