Round 126: Lisa the Greek vs. Treehouse of Horror XI

Round 126: 8F12 vs. BABF21.

8F12: “Lisa the Greek” (Season 3 / January 23, 1992)
Written by Jay Kogen & Wallace Wolodarsky
Directed by Rich Moore
Showrunners: Al Jean & Mike Reiss

The Simpsons 8F12 Lisa the Greek

Sweet little episode. Homer and Lisa stories are always special to me, and this one explores their relationship very nicely.

  • -Homer: “You see, Lisa, your mother has this crazy idea that gambling is wrong, even though they say it’s okay in the Bible.”
    -Lisa: “Really? Where?”
    -Homer: “Uh… somewhere in the back.”

BABF21: “Treehouse of Horror XI” (Season 12 / November 1, 2000)
Written by Rob LaZebnik, Mike Scully, John Frink, Don Payne, Carolyn Omine
Directed by Matthew Nastuk
Showrunner: Mike Scully

The Simpsons BABF21 Treehouse of Horror XI

Only made it half-way through. It’s crazy, I know, but I’m one of the few people who actually can get enough of splattering blood and horrible violence in my cartoon shows.

The winner: 8F12, “Lisa the Greek.”

Round 78: D’oh-in’ in the Wind vs. And Maggie Makes Three

Round 78: AABF02 vs. 2F10.

AABF02: “D’oh-in’ in the Wind” (Season 10 / November 15, 1998)
Written by Donick Cary
Directed by Mark Kirkland & Matthew Nastuk
Showrunner: Mike Scully

Grandpa Abe Simpson at Woodstock

Original here.

An okay episode. Homer’s not very likable here, which bothers me a bit, but it’s got some good stuff, too. Look, the less I write here the sooner I get to watch “And Maggie Makes Three.”


2F10: “And Maggie Makes Three” (Season 6 / January 22, 1995)
Written by Jennifer Crittenden
Directed by Swinton O. Scott III
Showrunner: David Mirkin

Homer and Marge Simpson taking a walk on the moonlit beach

Crittenden and Mirkin just go perfect with each other. She brings heart, he brings… whatever organ of his it is that comes up with the funny stuff.

  • “I’m gonna march right up to Al and say: Steve. I mean, Al, I think I deserve a raise.”

The winner: 2F10, “And Maggie Makes Three.”

Round 62: Lisa the Iconoclast vs. Catch ‘Em if You Can

Round 62: 3F13 vs. FABF14.

3F13: “Lisa the Iconoclast” (Season 7 / February 18, 1996)
Written by Jonathan Collier
Directed by Mike B. Anderson
Showrunners: Bill Oakley & Josh Weinstein

Homer and Lisa ringing the bell as town criers.

Love this one. It was one of the episodes on that imported VHS tape that was my first foray into the world of not-dubbed-into-German Simpsons, so it holds a special place for me, anyway. But even without that, how could I not just love it? I wrote about my fondness of Lisa and Homer bonding before, and this episode is full of that. And Homer’s not reduced to being a big, loud jerk (well, maybe towards Flanders, but c’mon) but instead pursues the town-crier position with as noble a spirit as he would a mountain of sugar.

  • It’s an exciting story, too. Feels very much like a movie, especially with the parade at the end.
  • -“I’ve got nothing but respect for the office of town crier but this is well outside your jurisdiction.”
  • (Donald Sutherland!)

FABF14: “Catch ‘Em if You Can” (Season 15 / April 25, 2004)
Written by Ian Maxtone-Graham
Directed by Matthew Nastuk
Showrunner: Al Jean

Homer and Marge Simpson

Eh.

It’s not that this episode is particularly bad – although it isn’t particularly good, either – but at this point in the series everything’s just… eh. Everything’s been done, so everything feels old. The “Catch Me If You Can” credits parody is well done, I guess, but you kinda wonder why it’s even here.

You wonder why this show is even still here.

The winner: 3F13, “Lisa the Iconoclast.”

Round 41: The Italian Bob vs. The Debarted

Round 41: HABF02 vs. KABF06.

HABF02: “The Italian Bob” (Season 17 / December 11, 2005)
Written by John Frink
Directed by Mark Kirkland
Showrunner: Al Jean

title

Turned it off after three minutes and fifty-seven seconds.


KABF06: “The Debarted” (Season 19 / March 2, 2008)
Written by Joel H. Cohen
Directed by Matthew Nastuk
Showrunner: Al Jean

title

Turned it off after four minutes and twenty-five seconds.

The “winner”: KABF06, “The Debarted,” I guess.

Round 36: Make Room for Lisa vs. Krusty Gets Busted

Round 36: AABF12 vs. 7G2.

AABF12: “Make Room for Lisa” (Season 10 / February 28, 1999)
Written by Brian Scully
Directed by Matthew Nastuk
Showrunner: Mike Scully

Lisa and Homer Simpson in an esoteric new age store.

“Other cultures are fine. I’m just saying I can get along in life without a… ‘toothbrush.'”

While I went into last round‘s “Lard of the Dance” with one specific, dreaded image in mind but then was pleasantly surprised by the whole of the episode, this time it was the other way around. “Make Room for Lisa” ends with a touching moment of bonding between Homer and Lisa, and that’s what I fondly remembered about it. But the way there? Boy, it gets rough.

I guess the writers decided that in order to give the final reconciliation between father and daughter more of an impact they had to crank up Homer’s lack of fatherly skills and basically make him World’s Greatest Asshole. And in the end he doesn’t grow or learn anything, it’s only Lisa who has the questionably epiphany of realizing that she really is a pain in the neck sometimes.

  • We do get, as is illustrated above, one of the two all-time great toothbrush jokes of The Simpsons. (The other one will come up in round 97. So any day now.)

7G12: “Krusty Gets Busted” (Season 1 / April 29, 1990)
Written by Jay Kogen & Wallace Wolodarsky
Directed by Brad Bird
Showrunners: James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Sam Simon

Bart Simpson with a Krusty the Clown doll.

I’m a huge Brad Bird fan (“The Iron Giant” is one of my favorite movies) and it’s great fun to watch this episode and listen to the commentary with him, Matt, Jay & Wallace. The first season can be a bit rough at times, but this is a masterfully written and animated episode.

Full of jokes, both high and low brow, but also there’s real drama going on, and a crime mystery, too! Plus Kelsey Grammer, perfect as Sideshow Bob in this and the many follow-up episodes to come.

The winner: 7G12, “Krusty Gets Busted.”