Is This When 'The Simpsons' Touched Bottom?

(After the secret passage opens)
Lisa: But what if someone wants a non-alcoholic beer?
Apu: You know, it’s never come up.

Don’t Eat Beef
Eat Deer

I can’t believe I forgot the best line of the episode, and one of the best lines ever. When Lisa’s class is disecting worms, and Ralph’s worm goes in his mouth and he eats it. He asks the teacher if he can have another one:
Miss Hoover: No Ralph, there aren’t any more…[shaking her head] just try to sleep while the other children are learning.

Ralph: Oh boy…sleep! That’s where I’m a viking!

Wiggum: Uuuh, Homer? Bring me another one of those…uuh. burgers would ya? I can’t quite seem to…stand up under my own power anymore. …

Homer: Another whopper for the copper!
Great episode!

How could anyone forget:

For my money, there’s never been a worse episode than the “Homer joins the Naval Reserve” episode.

So, in answer to the OP: no.

Aw, but that one has some great lines too. “Better make it quick, bub. In five minutes this place is becoming a Starbucks!”

“Let’s have a toast to the host who can boast the most roast!”

For the record, I still love ‘The Simpsons’ and think it’s easily the best TV show ever.

What I meant to convey in the OP was that this particular moment in this particular episode seemed to indicate a lack of edge on the part of the creators, the first time the producers (who have always prided themselves on their creative freedom) let the show be USED somehow. In no way did I mean that this might be the…worst. Episode. Ever. Just that it seemed to be, as I said, a jarring moment in the series.

Save it for the PIT, scorpion felcher.

I didn’t like that. There was no need to say anything, just have them walk through the non-alcoholic section to the secret staircase. Things are funnier when they aren’t as obvious.

My Sister, My Sitter was when The Simpsons crashed through the bottom and plowed about a hundred miles down. Any ridiculous mealy-mouthed defenses of this abomination you may have heard do not mitigate this in the slightest.

As for the vegetarianism episode…it was an okay ep overall, and not being afraid to ruffle feathers has always been one of the best things about this show. But a lot of things seemed forced, I found it impossible to sympathize with either Homer or Lisa, and in general, it just didn’t seem very well written. Also, I don’t like the idea of dumping random undesirable qualities on a character for the sake of a single plot (and in fairness, Homer’s probably had it a lot worse).

I never saw the supposed plug as a big deal. If that raises your hackles, pal, definitely don’t watch any of the later seasons.

No argument here. Horrible epsiode. I seriously do not know what they were thinking with that one. Total abomination.

My own pesonal Simpsons hallmarks are Who Shot Mr. Burns, which ends the long string of episodes that I find flawless and Alone Again, Natura-Diddly when I realized that I just don’t enjoy the show anymore at all. There are, of course, a ton of episodes between those two that I love, and a bunch that I think are utter garbage.

I don’t think the episode in question is that bad. It’s not great, and every time I watch it I like Lisa less, but there are worse.

For some reason I’ve always felt the downhill spiral began with the chilli episode. That’s when the show got beyond gimmicky.

Saddlesore Galactica. There is no worse.

Again, the veg episode was solidly in the area when the show rocked. It didn’t begin its downfall until long after that.

But… I thought some of Saddlesore Galatica were pretty good. The magical pearl world was a great Homer fantasy, and the Clinton ending was pretty good.

I agree this episode wasn’t quite right. But it didn’t seem out of character to me, if disappointing as I like Lisa - I can just see Lisa getting sanctimonious over something like that, she’s used to being always right, and then having to be told how to accept people who disagree with her.

Obligatory quotes:

It’s just a little airbourne.

Lisa:[steals pig]
Marge: BART, NO!
Bart: What??
Marge: Sorry, force of habit. LISA, NO!

I’m not a fan of late-season Simpsons episodes, but that episode was redeemed (in addition to the already-mentioned jokes) at the end when the McCartneys ask Homer if he wants to hear a song. He says yes and is treated to Apu (accompanying himself on the Tabla), singing:

“I’m Sgt. Pepper’s lonely hearts club man.
I hope I will enjoy my show…”

Now that’s comedy.

That was the same episode, wasn’t it?

blowero: same episode, but Apu sings the song to Lisa, not Homer.

Okay, some of those weren’t all that great when compared with other Simpsons episodes, but they were still better than the BEST episode of King of Queens or Still Standing. It’s all relative and we should be thankful that we’ve had all these years of comparative brillince to nitpick.