Through a staggering 28 seasons and counting, The Simpsons has been dominating our TV screens for almost 30 years now. The show has gone through and seen so much, but has yet managed to stick to the same old iconic family we all know and love. I mean, everybody has seen The Simpsons at least once or twice in their life. One of the highlights of the show is of course… the musicals! Over the years, The Simpsons has churned out quite a few great number hits, from “Mr. Plow” to the Kwik-E-Mart song, even to Spider Pig!
Starting in Dec 1989, the show has moved all of us in one way or another. The drawing, animation, and quality have improved over time, but the all the characters continue to stay who they are, even so much as maintaining all the same voice actors for so long. Well, at least the main ones of course. The show has also featured several high profile celebrity guest appearances over the years, from bands like Metallica and NSync, to Britney Spears and Stephen Colbert!
Today, we’re going to sit down and focus on what we think are the top 15 best musical moments in Simpsons history. Of course, it’s hard to pin down any best list, considering all the hits on the show are fantastic, but this is our favorites put into a simple list for you.
I’m sure you guys remember this little tune. Springfield ends up getting two million dollars, and a town meeting is held to decide how the money should be spent to further the city. Of course, Marge highly suggest that money go towards fixing up the roads in the city, but an ever so dashing stranger steps in and suggests they use it to build a monorail through the city.
This is when the character Lyle Lanley strides in a starts his extremely catchy tune in the middle of a town hall meeting. Through the song, he goes and makes sure every doubt is cleared and every citizen is on board with an amazing chorus. At the end of the song, the entire town is in on it and singing all together that they must have this Monorail in their city! I’m sure many of you remember how this particular episodes ends too. D’oh!
14. See My Vest
As a lovely Simpsons parody of 101 Dalmatians, this episode sees the Simpson family’s dog fall in love with a female greyhound at the racetrack. The greyhound ends up becoming pregnant with Santa’s Little Helper’s litter, and before the Simpsons know it, they’re up to their necks with 25 puppies! Just from one litter, how is that even possible?
Surprise, surprise, Mr. Burns comes out of the woodwork and wants to adopt the puppies but is refused. He then proceeds to kidnap the puppies but Bart and Lisa won’t have any of it. They end up sneaking into his mansion and getting the tune of their life as Mr. Burns seems to be taking care of the puppies quite well. However, it’s short lived because in the song, he’s in his ridiculous wardrobe of different animal skins and essentially wants to make the puppies into a tuxedo. His true colors had finally shown.
13. Who Needs The Kwik-E-Mart?
Another iconic song that everyone knows and loves from The Simpsons. I’m sure many of you remember Homer buying a spoiled hotdog from Apu at the Kwik-E-Mart, and Apu apologizes by giving him some spoiled shrimp. Of course, this is all by accident. It’s not long before Apu loses his job after Kent Brockman gets Homer to wear a large spy cam hat and catches Apu doing it, but luckily Homer steps up to the plate and invites Apu back to live with his family.
Of course, things just aren’t the same. Apu greatly misses his store and this amazing upbeat song that the Simpsons sing to him really make him realize his true place is in the Kwik-E-Mart. This is one of those amazing songs that appeared during The Simpsons’ 90s era that held many other great tunes in it as well.
12. We Put The Spring In Springfield
Another big Simpsons number of the 90s! Homer and Bart are the stars of this racier episode. Bart, being Bart, ends up causing damage to this creepy looking house with his friends. Homer then offers Bart’s cleaning services as a way to make up for the damage. Well, things take quite an interesting twist when the house he’s supposed to be doing chores in to work off debt turns out to be a burlesque house! The name is La Maison Derriere.
Bart ends up working the door of the place, somehow (that’s Bart for you.) Marge eventually ends up finding out and is absolutely enraged and tries to get the entire place shut down. This number is one of those instances where a character is overrun and won over by a song. Homer and Belle (the lady running it) break into a number that talks about keeping the place and how it would be a total shame to lose that brand of business. Marge tries to come out with a song in reply but ends up getting cut off by a runaway bulldozer!
11. Cut Every Corner
Those of you familiar with Mary Poppins, this spoof brings that delight to Springfield. The time comes when Marge decides she really needs a break from the kids, and hires a full time nanny. It gets so bad that we see Marge’s hair fall out in clumps. You know, when it falls out in chunks and has that swiss cheese look? Shary Bobbins ends up taking the job as the nanny after Homer scares off every other possible applicant due to him believing they’re men in drag, like Mrs. Doubtfire. Shary Bobbins can handle a lot of things, but apparently the Simpsons aren’t one of them.
What’s great about this episode is it parodies several of the great and memorable Poppins songs, with a song even sung to the tune of Margaritaville due to Shary being overwhelmed with dealing with the stress of the Simpsons.
10. The Garbage Man Can
In this episode, Homer is up to his usual shenanigans when a simple missed garbage day pickup goes further than expected. The next time the garbage truck rolls by and Homer isn’t able to make it outside in time, he reacts the way anyone would: starts screaming and yelling insults at the garbage men. Angry and refusing to be apologetic, he’s ultimately cut off of trash service to his house.
Marge tries to save him and ends up writing an apology letter on his behalf. Homer ends up going down to the Sanitation Commissioner himself to take the apology letter to him but ends up in a bitter feud! It ends up with Homer going against this commissioner and Homer being Homer decides to try and win over the citizens with vast ridiculous promises like a song with U2. This episode features an amazing parody of the song “The Candy Man Can” and is a total winner.
9. Everybody Hates Ned Flanders
An episode that occurred much later in The Simpsons series (season 14), this one probably does not stick out as much. When Homer decides it’s a great time to try and write a Christmas carol, he keeps finding himself being interrupted by his neighbor, Ned Flanders. Because of this, he ends up writing a song about how much he hates Ned instead of the carol. Well, the song ends up becoming a humongous hit and yet doesn’t yield Homey any extra money? The song ends up spawning covers like a salsa remix, an extended remix, and a William Shatner version. Can a song Homer writes really be that catchy?
However, that part of the episode actually isn’t the entire focus, and is only a portion of the episode. Homer dislikes the mess this song of his has created and ends up moving his family out to try and move away to a ranch and escape.
8. We Do
Another great song! The entire episode seeks to make fun of the Freemason brotherhood, with Homer being “Homer the Great.” Homer ends up revealing Springfield is actually home to a very secret society called the Stonecutters. Lenny and Carl are the ones who tell Homer about it as they flaunt their privileges to him. Obviously due to them being members they don’t have to do as much as Homer does and he starts to notice this. Homer wants to try and join.
He even finds out his father is a Stonecutter, and ends up joining the society with many other large notable figures from Springfield we all know and love from the show. Of course, he’s more than happy to join and be a part of this society but this is when the episode gives way to the hilarious and amazing song, just before things in the episode start to go weird.
7. It’s A High To Be Loathed
Yes, The Simpsons have attempted a Storage Wars parody in this episode! It’s pretty funny when the Simpsons discover that Grampa has been storing a lot of strange… items. Hoards and hoards of wigs, leotards, and even bizarre muscleman magazines. They start putting the pieces together and really want Grampa to come out of the closet, and never would have expected what he was really hiding: Grampa used to be a pro wrestler when he was younger!
It gets weirder, Burns turns out to have been his biggest fan yet, and even ends up in a giddy little tune that’s used to persuade Grampa to get back in the ring again. Glamorous Godfrey was the character Grandpa played when he was younger, and was a total beast in the ring. He was forced to retire due to his antics in the ring.
6. Ode To Branson
This appears from a later episode in the series, sometime in season 13 actually. It’s a part of a plot in the episode where Grampa essentially starts driving around again to impress this other woman at the retirement home. The song itself is so good that it actually won an Emmy, and like typical Simpsons humor, focuses on former stars whose careers have become so irrelevant that they now have to perform out of this small town in Missouri. This is the part of the Simpsons that makes these kinds of things quite hilarious.
The thing with musical numbers and animated shows is it’s extremely easy to put them together, but there’s times where they can really overdo it. Not to mention, it being an animated show, these numbers could just go on and on. The song itself stands strong in the episode and remains an awesome gag from the episode.
5. Mr. Plow
Ya’ll remember the Mr. Plow rap? Of course I do, how could I forget it? Coming out in season 9, Homer ends up running against his drunken friend Barney in a snow plow war of commercials and other marketing tactics to try and out do the other. Of course, their “commercials” have all the aesthetic and charm that one would expect from those late night cheesy infomercials. You know what ones I’m talking about. The episode itself is worth the watch, as well as all the Mr. Plow nods throughout the series. Even though this isn’t a big number like some of the above, it stands out as your typical Homer behavior, just like his Max Power song.
Of course, his rapping skills alone take on a whole new level of terrible but what can you expect out of Homer? Fun fact for the episode: Linda Ronstadt is actually featured in the song Barney does.
4. Happy Birthday Lisa
Really funny thing about this episode and song: this is supposed to be the episode that Michael Jackson guest starred on the show but trying to find more information on it is tougher than trying to get a hold of the President. Since Jackson’s voice is immediately noticeable, it’s said that Jackson only agreed to play in the episode if he went under a pseudonym and would not perform any of the singing parts. There’s other speculation that he actually did voice the entire episode, singing parts included. The other speculation is that none of it was him, and it was all just a Jackson sound alike.
Whatever the actual truth behind this episode is, we’ll probably never know. But that doesn’t discredit this song as a masterpiece from the series about a wonderful brother to sister song, Simpsons style. Truly one of the best songs of the entire Simpsons series.
3. Dr. Zaius
This one is sure to please you Planet Of the Ape nerds. This so called musical is actually sung to the tune of “Rock Me Amadeus” and could just almost live up to the greatness of the original. Another interesting fact about this particular tune is that it features yet another fallen celebrity to star on it, Phil Hartman. Of course, he’s no Michael Jackson and that’s okay, but you probably didn’t know that Phil Hartmon was actually a very frequent contributor to the show. His death was tragic and shook the whole Simpsons community. He was shot and murdered on May 28th, 1998.
The musical itself is weird, and very Simpsons style. This is believed to be Troy McClure’s last appearance in the entire Simpsons series as once Hartman had passed, the creators of the show decided to let that character die with him and not bring him back with a different voice actor.
2. Talkin’ Softball
This song is actually based on the Terry Cashman song “Talkin’ Baseball.” This song was featured as the closing tune to the episode where big league baseball players were featured but were actually softball ringers. The incredible lineup in the episode consisted of Ozzie Smith, Wade Boggs, Mike Scioscia, Don Mattingly, Darly Strawberry, and Jose Canseco. The scene is set with a beautiful sepia tone, which feels like a throwback to an older clip set back in the 1920s or something. The song is also said to have been performed by the likes of Terry Cashman himself!
It’s very common for the Simpsons to use or to create a theme to play as the outro of their shows as displayed with many parody episodes and even the outro melodies on all the Treehouse of Horror episodes.
1. The Garden of Eden
This is one of our favorite ones, actually. You might remember back in the episode where Bart sells Millhouse his soul on a stupid little piece of paper. Millhouse then trades the soul over for Alf pogs, another tip of the hat to the 90s. Gosh, who doesn’t remember collecting pogs?
Of course, what could be funnier than Bart handing out “hymns” to the church to sing? it actually ends up becoming quite a hilarious and catchy version of the song “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,” a 1968 rock song by Iron Butterfly, with the church organ going and the whole church singing the song until the older woman playing the organ fizzles out.
However, the church scene with “Garden Of Eden” may not be the best part of the show. If you remember from the same episode: Uncle Moe’s Family Feedbag birthday party song! Oh and if you don’t recall the ending of the particular episode, Bart does indeed get his soul back.
Now we hope these songs are stuck in your head forever.