The best Simpsons episode ever

Last updated 09:41 18/01/2011

A few weeks ago, in my post about repeats, I mentioned how TV3 never seems to repeat my favourite episodes of The Simpsons, before naming Deep Space Homer my favourite Simpsons episode of all time.

20110118Now, a commenter named Wilbur didn't like this much. He claimed that if I were a true Simpsons fan I "wouldn't be naive enough to try and pick one episode as the best ever". Well, unfortunately for Wilbur, not only am I naive enough to name one, but I'm going to dedicate a blog post to explaining why too.

Deep Space Homer is the 15th episode of Season 5, and follows Homer as he becomes an astronaut in an attempt to gain the respect of his family, friends, and the workmates who overlooked him for a Worker of the Week award in favour of an inanimate carbon rod. It first aired in February 1994, and heavily parodies hit space movies like The Right Stuff and 2001: A Space Odyssey - and in the years since, it has carved out a little piece of my heart and taken its place as my favourite Simpsons episode of all time.

There are good reasons why I like Deep Space Home" the most, such as ...

It contains one of the best Homer moments of all time.
"Hello, is this President Clinton? ... Good! I figured if anyone knew where to get some Tang, it be you ... SHUT UP!" Soon after phoning Nasa to complain about the space shuttle launches on TV, Homer is seen on a payphone at Moe's talking to the president about getting a hold of Tang, a drink made famous for being used on manned space missions. Also, this is a hilarious joke to play on fellow Simpsons fans: just pick up a phone and recite these short lines. Anyone who doesn't laugh gets kicked out of the house.

It features four of the best random "laugh out loud" moments of all time.
1) After Mr Burns announces the carbon rod as the winner of the Worker of the Week award, Homer growls and yells "Inanimate eh! I'll show him inanimate!" He then proceeds to stand perfectly still as the sun quickly goes down and his shadow lengthens.
2) Bart writes "insert brain here" on the back of Homer's head and, in an attempt to see what Bart has written, Homer ends up spinning around on the floor, a la Curly from the Three Stooges, as the family looks on and grows increasingly concerned.
3) During a press conference, Homer tells reporters that the only danger in the space mission is if Nasa sends them to the planet of the apes. He then realises what happened at the end of the movie The Planet of the Apes, and collapses on the floor, yelling the famous lines "Damn you! Damn you all to hell!"
4) A recurring gag in which Homer has trouble using a touch-tone phone and starts mashing buttons while having a serious, deep and meaningful conversation with Marge just before takeoff.

It is the source of two of the most memorable Simpsons scenes ever.
1) After Homer opens a bag of potato chips in the space shuttle, he is forced to float around in zero gravity and munch random mouthfuls of chips in time to the tune of The Blue Danube - a scene which is a reference to Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.
2) After Homer accidentally smashes open the ant farm, Kent Brockman crosses to the in-shuttle camera just as an ant flies past the camera lens. He explains this by announcing that the space shuttle has been taken over by giant ants. Part of his report includes the classic line "... and I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords!" ... which spawned the "Overlord Meme", and is now used in discussion forums all over the internet.

It features two of the best celebrity cameos of all time.
1) Former astronaut, and second man to walk on the moon, Buzz Aldrin, who says the line "Second comes right after first!" soon after appearing on-screen.
2) Folk singer James Taylor, who recorded a special version of his song Fire and Rain for the episode and was named the 21st best guest star by IGN.com.

It boasts one of the most random facts of any TV episode, from any show, ever.
"Deep Space Homer" is available for astronauts to watch at the International Space Station. Take that, South Park!

When you put all these factors together, you've got the best Simpsons episode of all time.

So Deep Space Homer is my choice for the best. What's yours? What are some of your favourite scenes? If you're not a Simpsons fan, what do you hate about the show?

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148 comments
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agreed!   #1   09:47 am Jan 18 2011

id totally agree - they never play the good ones... just the same crap every day..

personally weekend at burnsies is the best ep imo

Bill Simpson   #2   09:49 am Jan 18 2011

Krusty's Komeback Special: "Old Grey Mare she ain't what she usta be, ain't what she usta be..."

Brian   #3   09:49 am Jan 18 2011

Lemon of Troy is my all time favourite

golfpy   #4   09:51 am Jan 18 2011

Some of my fave Homer moments: When he gains weight to work from home and the computer tells him to "press the any key" Homer: "where is the any key?!" haha and definitely when he goes to use the phone and he is told his fingers are too fat to dial and to please mash the numbers with his fist to release a dialing wand. AND in a Treehouse of Horrors episode they are trapped out in a mansion and his portable tv gets lost in the snow.. when he finds it he says "ahh tv, teacher... mother.. secret lover"

Also who can forget the Barbershop Quartet episode when they play at the Statue of Liberty: Homer: We'd like to dedicate this next number to a very special woman.She's a hundred years old, and she weighs over two hundred...tons. Man: This enormous woman will devour us all! Aah! [jumps into water] Homer: Er, I meant the statue...

;O) Enjoy!!

Serpent   #5   09:52 am Jan 18 2011

Original Frank Grimes episode

JC   #6   09:52 am Jan 18 2011

Yer its a goodie. Can't remember the episode, might be a halloween one, with the super happy fun slide, that was gold

John   #7   09:53 am Jan 18 2011

Too many to really pick out but...

I always loved that line in an episode called "Homer's Phobia" where the gay character John said something along the lines of 'There haven't been any reindeer in Springfield National Park since it converted to Astroturf'.

That and the Dr Zaius musical number.

Mark   #8   09:53 am Jan 18 2011

For me, its the James Bond spoof "You Only Move Twice" - Marge, Bart and Lisa all have amusing sub-plots but the heart of the episode is Homer's new job working for Hank Scorpio, head of the Globex Corporation who turns out to be a James Bond supervillain, a fact that Homer remains oblivious too even as he is responsible for the capture and death of a familar looking British agent and while walking through a climactic firefight to offer his resignation to his affable, bearded, psychotic employer. At the end Scorpio, now in control of the West Coast of the USA gives Homer a leaving gift, the Denver Broncos, who stand in his front yard ineptly throwing a ball about as Homer bemoans that fact that he wanted the dallas Cowboys. then it ends with a brilliant pastice of a james bond theme song, which mentions Scorpio's generous dental plan. brilliant.

Richard L   #9   09:53 am Jan 18 2011

Cape Feare! Sideshow Bob stepping on the rakes. Homer scaring an already fearful in-bed Bart for a game of hockey (complete with Hockey Mask), or a baked slice (complete with sharp carving knife), the elephants and the parade stomping on Sideshow and Sideshow convincing the Parole Board that his tattoo for Die Bart Die is German for The, Bart, The ("Nobody who speaks German could be a bad man"). Classic!

Tim   #10   09:54 am Jan 18 2011

This one was pretty good too, even nominated for an emmy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viva_Ned_Flanders


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