The Flintstones, The Jetsons, whoever. No other TV family is as popular as our favorite yellow gang from Springfield, The Simpsons. Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie, Abe, Snowball and Santa’s Little Helper have been a part of the lives of countless generations. In the past 28 years, this family and their lovely little series have made us laugh several times in a span of 20 minutes or so, but there’s a lot more to the show than just the comedic antics.
Most fans don’t treat The Simpsons as a simple cartoon with hundreds of episodes under its name. It’s a drama, it’s a sitcom, it’s a chick-flick, and it’s a lot of other things. Since there are a lot of episodes, the show’s writers have tested out nearly every theme they could get their hands on.
The Simpsons isn’t at its best when it leaves us in stitches after the credits roll. The show is at its finest when the episodes take on an emotional twist. It’s at these times when we see the show’s excellent writers really give it their all. Here are 15 times The Simpsons ripped our hearts out.
15. When Homer Was Nice To Flanders
Homer isn’t the best neighbor and everyone knows that. Throughout the years, we’ve seen the countless times that Homer has abused the friendly approaches of Ned Flanders. Despite this, the two are still nice friends. There are some episodes wherein the bond of the two are highlighted and the one that sticks with us the most is during the season three episode When Flanders Failed.
Flanders decides to open up a business that sells items for left-handed people. Being the bad neighbor that he is, Homer quips that he wishes that the business fails. When it does fail, Homer makes a complete turnaround and rounds up the entire town to bring back Ned’s business from the slumps. When the business succeeds, Ned and Homer show that there’s more to their friendship than just hate and annoyance.
14. The First Episode
The Simpsons began their domination of TV with the episode, Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire. It was a very good start for the show and it signalled good things to come for the showrunners. The episode was both funny and emotional, and we’re sure that those who were tuning in didn’t expect such an emotional experience.
The first episode was set at Christmas time. Homer didn’t get his Christmas bonus and he had nothing left to buy gifts for his family. He tries to make more money by working as Santa at a mall, but that failed too. With all hope lost, Homer goes to a dog-racing event and he bets everything on a dog named Santa’s Little Helper. The dog was disowned by the owner but The Simpsons end up adopting the dog and making it a part of the family.
13. Lisa’s First Word
Bart and Lisa’s relationship is the typical brother-sister relationship. They hate each other’s guts but despite the conflict, they still have each others’ backs. In the aptly named, Lisa’s First Word, we saw the budding relationship of Bart and Lisa, and how it was off to a rocky start, but the final scenes were very touching and unexpected.
Like any typical only child, Bart became jealous when Lisa arrived. All attention was on the youngest Simpson at the time and Bart was having none of it. Eventually, the two got along. The icing on the cake of the episode was when Lisa finally said her first word. It was none other than the name of her brother, Bart. When Lisa uttered Bart’s name as her first word, fans probably felt very emotional and it was excellent writing on the part of the creators.
12. When Marge Almost Cheated On Homer
Homer and Marge’s relationship might be long-lasting, but that doesn’t mean the two don’t have their problems from time to time. With Homer’s forgetfulness and recklessness, Marge does get angry when she’s had too much. One of the early episodes that focused on the couple’s relationship was in Life On The Fast Lane.
Homer completely forgets Marge’s birthday and he buys a bowling ball with his own name on it, instead of getting his wife a gift. Out of anger, Marge decides to go bowling under the tutelage of a seductive instructor named Jacques. He invites Marge to his apartment for obvious reasons. Marge almost made the decision to go to Jacques’ place but she then remembers her vows to Homer. Instead of going to Jacques’ place, she surprises Homer at the power plant.
11. Lisa’s Wedding
The Simpsons writers love to do episodes where we get to see what the beloved family from Springfield is like years into the future. In the critically acclaimed Lisa’s Wedding from the sixth season, the focus was on the future of the Simpson household’s wonder gal. In the episode, Lisa got to see her future with the man of her dreams.
Lisa was set to wed Hugh Parkfield, who was everything that she could ask for. When she took Parkfield to meet her family, it was apparent that everyone else was still hard to understand and it was obvious that Hugh isn’t too fond of Lisa’s family. Upon learning Hugh’s plan of separating Lisa from her family after the wedding, Lisa calls off her marriage as she loves her father and the rest of her family too much to be cut away from them.
10. Grandpa’s Not All Bad
From the get-go, it’s obvious that Homer doesn’t have a good relationship with his dad, Abe. Abe raised Homer on his own as Mona left them both. He was a war veteran and his hard attitude was his base for raising Homer. Simply put, Homer didn’t have a loving relationship with his father but, despite this, the two are still in contact with each other.
In Grandpa Vs. Sexual Inadequacy, Homer and Abe open up a business together. It was off to a good start but things took a turn for the worst. This caused a bigger strain on their relationship and Abe even called Homer an accident during an exchange of words. Homer was clearly upset and he began criticizing Abe for the way he raised Homer. When Homer was really feeling bad, he saw a pic of his young self with Santa Claus. He then figured out that Santa was his dad all along. The two made up after an emotional moment.
9. When Santa’s Little Helper Forgot
Even the family pets of the Simpsons hold a special place in our hearts. Santa’s Little Helper and Snowball have been the key characters in some episodes and there are some that are very emotional. In Dog of Death, we are treated to a little scene that showcases just how close Bart and Santa’s Little Helper are.
In the episode, the family had to pitch in and sacrifice a ton of money for a life-saving operation for Santa’s Little Helper. Once he was cured, the family members subconsciously took their frustrations out on the little dog. The dog ran away after feeling unloved, and he was turned into a hound by Mr. Burns. When Bart found him, it seemed like Santa’s Little Helper was no more, but just before he was about to attack Bart, he remembered who his best friend was and it was a reunion that brought tears to households worldwide.
8. How Homer And Marge Came To Be
When The Simpsons began, viewers always wondered how Homer and Marge came to be. Homer was a lovable ape, as many would put it. Marge, on the other hand, was a beautiful and classy lady that many fell head over heels for. Despite their differences, the two are still together and they are obviously happy with each other’s company.
The writers decided to reveal Homer and Marge’s humble beginning in The Way We Was. When Homer first saw Marge, it was love at first sight. Homer believed he had no chance with Marge so he lied to get close to her. Once Marge figured out the truth, she chose to take Artie Ziff to the prom instead of Homer. Artie forced himself on Marge and she left him right then and there. She then went to the heartbroken Homer where he told Marge that he loves her so much, he never wanted to let her go.
7. Homer’s Last Days
In a series that has hundreds of episodes to showcase and be proud of, it’s very hard for fans and critics alike to pinpoint some of the best moments The Simpsons had to offer. If everyone is going to make a top ten list of the best Simpsons episodes, season two’s One Fish, Two Fish, Blow Fish, Bluefish will definitely be on that list.
In this episode, Homer’s ever hungry stomach manages to get him in trouble when he eats a poisonous fish. He was given a week left to live and during this time, Homer decides to give each of his friends and family members a few moments to remember him by. He listens to Lisa play the sax soulfully, he bonds with his father one last time, and most memorably, he spends one more night of love with Marge before the morning he dies. Marge crying over Homer struck an emotional chord in all of us.
6. Lisa Becomes A Vegetarian
Lisa is one of the most unique and distinguishable characters in the Simpson household. She’s smart, talented and she’s a vegetarian. For years, the family has shared the dinner table and Lisa is the one with a different plate of food in front of her. Those who’ve been watching since the early seasons might remember how Lisa became a vegetarian.
After visiting a petting zoo, Lisa decides to become a vegetarian. This decision wasn’t well-received by her family and friends, especially Homer. Despite this, Lisa decides to stick with her decision. Homer, who was one of Lisa’s worst critics, apologizes and gives his daughter a “veggie” back ride. Somehow, episodes that feature the close bond of Lisa and Homer are just amazing.
5. Bart’s Been A Bad Boy
We all know that Bart’s not a model child. He causes trouble a lot and he’s not even doing very well in school. Despite his antics, we all know that there is good in Bart and Marge sees that in her special little boy. In the one episode when Marge has had enough, we get to see her and Bart’s relationship take a turn for the worst, and it was too much to bear.
In Marge Be Not Proud, Bart gets in pretty deep trouble. He shoplifted a copy of a video game and the store lets him off with a warning and a ban at the grocery store. Coincidentally, their family had to take a family picture at that same grocery and Bart was immediately caught. Marge was cold to Bart during the entire episode, but El Barto made it up to Marge by paying for a decent photo of him; showing that there’s still good in him all along.
4. Lisa’s Goodbye To Intelligent Homer
Throughout the decades-long history of The Simpsons, we’ve seen Homer’s stupidity on display several times already. It spices up the show every now and then but fans have always wanted to see what the show would be like if Homer was a genius. This has been done once already and that episode stayed with us for a long time as it was both emotional and painful to watch.
When Homer was a kid, he apparently lodged a crayon up his brain which resulted in his low IQ. When it was removed, he became very intelligent, even surpassing Lisa. This newfound intellect made Lisa and Homer grow very close with each other, but it wasn’t long before Homer realized he wanted who he was before. Before having a crayon put up his brain again, Homer wrote a heartfelt letter to Lisa saying how proud he is of her intelligence.
3. Doing It All For Maggie
We know a lot about the lives of Lisa, Bart, and Maggie, and the best episodes featuring them are the ones where we get to see how the kids came to be. In And Maggie Makes Three, Homer tells the story of why Maggie has no picture in their household. In this episode, we were treated to one frame that made our hearts quiver with all sorts of emotions.
Before Maggie was born, Homer manages to land a job at a bowling alley. He made enough money for Bart and Lisa while having enough left for beer. Marge tells Homer that she’s pregnant, and Homer had to leave his dream job to literally crawl back into his previous job because of the third child. Homer was angry at the thought of having another child, but when he saw Maggie, he was more than happy. Mr. Burns adds a plaque in Homer’s sector that says “Don’t Forget, You’re Here Forever.” It was revealed that Homer used Maggie’s pictures to block out some letters from the plaque to come up with “Do It For Her.”
2. Homer And Marge’s Biggest Fight
Homer is not a smart man and he’s lucky that Marge is very patient and understanding at times. We’ve seen this couple stand against the test of time and Homer’s crazy antics. Simply put, they’ve both been through a lot already. One of their biggest fights to date happened during The Simpsons Movie, and it was a sad time for the fans of the couple.
In the movie, Homer polluted Springfield’s lake to dangerous levels. When the city was quarantined, the Simpsons managed to make it out. While in Alaska, the Simpsons found out that Springfield was going to be destroyed. Everyone except Homer wanted to return and Marge ends up leaving her husband while taking the kids with her to Springfield. It took Homer a spiritual journey to come to his senses and go back to what he loves the most: his family.
1. The Death Of Mona Simpson
Throughout the entire series, fans have been a witness to Homer’s very problematic relationship with his estranged mother, Mona. Mona was barely there during Homer’s childhood and Abe, Homer’s father, was all that was left of Homer’s parents. From time to time, Mona pops up and during these episodes, it’s almost a guarantee that fans will get their heartstrings plucked.
The last we’ve seen of Homer’s mother was in Mona Leaves-A. During this episode, Mona insists that she won’t ever leave Homer again. Homer refuses to believe this and when he finally gave Mona a chance, he found she had passed in her sleep in their living room. Homer was obviously filled with guilt, so to make his mother happy in the afterlife, he spread her ashes at Springfield Monument Park. Being the rebel that she is, Mona’s ashes manage to stop a missile filled with waste.
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