Ode to The Simpsons

One afternoon in the summer after high school, I was hanging out with my friend Soerha. Before she dropped me off at home, I saw the time in her car and noticed it was around 5:50pm. “Cool,” I said. “I’ll be home in time to watch The Simpsons!” At that time, it was in syndication and came on at 6 and 6:30 on the channel that was then known as UPN.

“That’s what I was thinking too!” Soerha said. She lived nearby and after dropping me off, she’d be back at her place soon after.

Our friendship at that time was pretty new and so I was in awe that we both looked forward to not hanging out so we could go to our respective homes and watch an old episode of a TV show that had been on for years. “Where have you been all my life?” I asked.

The cool thing about The Simpsons is that with anyone who watches the show, you can just say something from an episode and chances are that they’ll get it, especially if it comes from one of the earlier episodes.

The cable channel FXX is hoping for some of that nostalgia as they air every single episode ever, which they started on Thursday. Because of that, there have been a string of Simpsons related articles that have been popping up to commemorate the show. One friend posted an article on Facebook titled The 15 Essential “Simpsons” Episodes to Watch During the Historic 12-Day Marathon. Basically, it’s this columnist’s top 15 Simpsons list.

I was ready to disagree with everything as I clicked on the link. Surely he doesn’t have that episode, I thought to myself. But there it was. But I bet he doesn’t, *scroll* never mind, there it is. The list is actually quite respectable with some pretty awesome episodes in there. (How much has the internet messed me up if I’m automatically prepared to think that someone else’s opinions are wrong?). Some of my favorites on the list include Stark Raving Dad with Michael Jackson, 22 Short Films About Springfield, and Homer’s Enemy.

As I scrolled down the list, lines automatically popped up in my head from some of the episodes and I remembered how good some of them are. In Marge vs The Monorail for example, after realizing Bart is actually proud of him for something, Homer says: “Do you want to change your name to Homer, Junior? The kids can call you HoJu!” And then there’s “Lisa’s Wedding”, which was the first of a few episodes over the years that projected what the future could hold for the Simpson family. Each time they did an episode of what a potential future would look like for them, I never liked them, preferring Lisa’s Wedding over all of them instead.

One episode that I consider one of my favorites that didn’t make the list on mic.com is the episode “A Fish Called Selma” when actor Troy McClure marries Selma and stars in a musical based off of Planet of the Apes called “Stop the Planet of the Apes, I Want to Get Off!:

In truth, there are a ton of great Simpsons episodes, which is why it’s still on after all these years even though it has just been okay as of late. I honestly still watch because there might be that one gem among all the so-so episodes that have been on. And well, it’s The Simpsons. I can’t stop watching…

After all these years, Soerha and I are still good friends and I even co-MC’d her wedding three years ago. She’s due with her first baby soon and I’ve been suggesting baby names when it came to me and I said to her over IM: “Did you want to name your kid “Homer Jr.”? His friends can call him “HOJU”!” As It turns out she had already made that suggestion to her husband, who nixed the idea.

To The Simpsons – thanks for being part of my culture.

Side Note: It’s been a while since I practiced my Ralph Wiggum voice. I should probably perfect that sometime soon.

7 thoughts

  1. hahha, excellent post! That’s so great that you were able to connect with someone over the show and have a lasting friendship over the years. Very cool ma’sha’allah.

    I’m a big Simpsons fan, though I admit, I’m not so great remembering exactly what quote is from which episode. Like you, I still watch and keep up with episodes if I’ve fallen behind. I haven’t caught any part of the every episode marathon, but such a great idea.

    Also, I’m a dork when it comes to civic pride and given that Matt G. grew up here in Portland, the Simpsons gives me even more reason to be proud of being a Portlander/Oregonian. I’m sure you recall several Oregon related references (Bart mentioned Eugene when he is overlooking a scene from a hill and he says you can see the 4 states that touch either other etc). I even recall a recent Halloween episode where Bart is talking with an alien and they poke fun at the rain here lol. Also, the real Maggie (Matt’s sister, Margaret) went to my school :)

    I’ve always loved how the show integrates current pop culture and of course, has contemporary guest stars as well. Love watching re-runs of course. I guess I agree, that recent years are not as great as past years, I still laugh and enjoy most of the jokes. I really like how even our technology has been put into the show – phones, tablets and other such things.

    OK, I’ve blabbered enough. :)

    1. Salaam, thanks for your thoughts on this! I agree, I love how it integrates pop culture into its episodes. Sometimes it’s better at it than other times (I remember a Star Wars Episode 1 reference that was years too late) but there were times when it caught me off guard and turned out to be pretty great.

      Per your comment below, I just heard that it’s finally been confirmed about which Springfield it is! As big as a fan I am, I didn’t realize that Matt G. was from Oregon. I’ll most definitely have to check out the mural whenever it is I get myself over to Portland :)

      1. Ahhh, that’s understandable, but yeah it’s fun when they catch you when you don’t expect it with those. I remember laughing out loud – literally, when Christina Aguilera was mentioned – I think it was making fun of her Spanish Christmas album songs and her Spanish roots or something :p

        OMG, tsk tsk! haha joking!

        The mural actually is in Springfield, OR (not Portland, I was disappointed lol), but do visit us up here too :) No doubt you’ll fall in love with it as so many do upon their visit. Just a trip up I-5 for ya.

  2. Just caught the end of Seasons 9 and first couple episodes of Season 10 – man, the older episodes were indeed awesome. 1998! Good old days….

  3. I remember around 90-91, we had a satellite dish, the really big ones- that now you would probably use to listen to phone conversations on other planets, we would watch Simpsons and In Living Color on Fox. I would videotape the episodes, because most houses where I lived did not get this channel. I would take them to school and we would watch them in music class when we got a free day. I always loved the Simpson’s. So clever. Way more clever and funny than Family Guy, IMHO. Thanks for your perspective!

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