Worst Simpsons episodes

The Armin Tanzarian and Panda Rape shows seem to get a lot of hate on this board. Though I think the Panda Rape episode was atrocious, I actually didn’t mind Armin Tanzarian so much in that it was at least an entertaining episode, and the writers pretty much acknowledged the ridiculousness of the idea by saying they would never mention it again.
Personally my candidate for worst episode would be the 13th season show “Homer the Moe.” It has all the hallmarks of post-season 10 Simpsons (when IMO it started jumping the shark):
Pointless celebrity cameo (in the form of REM)- Check.
Characters acting weird toward said celebrities (in this case Lenny watching one of the band members take a piss) - Check.
Recycling an idea that was much funnier the first time around (in this case Moe turning his bar into trendy nightspot, which was done in the Flaming Moe episode)- Check.
Characters acting out of character (Moe being a hipster) - Check.
Sober Barney - Check.
Homer acting like an obnoxious ass - most definitely.

So what Simpsons episode do you want to never see rerun again?

The Panda Rape episode is the first one that popped into my head. I think that may be the only episode of the Simpsons I actually turned off, I couldn’t bear it any longer.

I haven’t owned a TV in a number of years though, so it’s possible worse episodes have come out in the intervening time.


Panda rape is the worst, but I’ll give an honorable mention to Sadlesore Galactica, aka: Homer buys a diving horse, teaches it to play football, races it, oh and all of the jockeys are brain eating elves. I think I was 12 when that played for the first time, and I knew from that moment that the Simpsons would never be the same again.

Any episodes where large amounts of time are devoted to the characters singing.
I just tend to glaze over and if it continues turn over to another channel.

Yeah, that episode also somewhat recycled another idea from years earlier - where Lisa got a horse, though they at least took fresh, if not very funny, approach.

Saddlesore is a masterpiece. Panda rape may be no laughing matter, but the episode was hilarious. Armin Tamzarian was pretty good too, and the cop out ending was a great way to poke fun at shows that abuse the reset button.

No, the real crappy episodes are when the writers try and get all their political frustrations out, like in Bart Mangled Banner. I can’t even watch that one when it pops up in syndication it’s such drivel. That’s not to say it’s never fun to poke fun at politics or political figures. The one where George HW Bush moves into the neighborhood was really funny, and the time Sideshow Bob ran for Mayor was funny as well. But those episodes seem like they were just trying to be fun, whereas BMB seemed like they were trying to whine.

The one where Ralph Wiggum runs for president is pretty horrible, too. They didn’t even bother to tack on an ending to that one, it just stops. Granted, stopping was a good thing, if it had gone on any longer it would’ve made waterboarding look like a day at the spa. <loud whisper>that means I think watching this episode was torture</loud whisper>

In non political eps, the one where they run across Sideshow Bob in Italy was very weak, especially for a Sideshow Bob episode. “Vendetta! Vendetta!” ah, shutup already ya stupid freak. How the hell is your kid older than Maggie, anyway?

I also didn’t care much for the time the family cat kept getting killed, even if it did lead to an amusing callback to Principal Tamzarian. The main story of the episode (Homer pretends to be a battle bot) was funny too. I just don’t like humor based on pet death.

Snowball III in the aquarium still cracks me up, and I love cats.

The Michael Jackson episode stands out for me as an early bad one.

Saddlesore Galactica was basically a 22 minute “fuck you” to anyone who felt that the show had the possibility to be more than a stupid cartoon. I curse the name of Ian Maxtone-Graham.


Plotlines abruptly dropped mid-episode without resolution - Check
Characters acting stupid (or, in the case of Homer, more stupid than usual) just for the sake of the story (here it was Homer suddenly becoming 100% committed to go hunting and kill something after Moe said he had to hunt in order to keep his hunter’s club license) - Check.

That was a pretty slapdash episode. Still, I think the one where the Simpsons went to Florida (“Kill the Alligator and Run”) was a lot worse. Upon seeing “Saddlesore Galactica,” I could at least rationalize that the writers seemed to be taking a dive on that ep. With “Kill the Alligator and Run,” however, I came to the belated realization that the show was on a steep downhill slide.

The episode that–out of nowhere–turned into a parody of “The Prisoner” in the last act was pretty weak too.

This would be my vote.

While watching this episode I just kept saying “This just keeps getting stupider and stupider, how are they gonna write themselves out of this?”

Then it just…ended.
Not good, not funny.

The one that depicted a future where Lisa was President of the USA came to my mind first.

I’m sure the worst episode(s) came in one of the post-Season 8 seasons, none of which I’ve rewatched since they originally aired, so I don’t really remember the truly bad ones. But by searching back through the SDMB, I found comments I made in a couple of old threads that suggest that the Worst. Episode. Ever was Season 16’s All’s Fair in Oven War.

I actually remember finding the panda rape episode pretty funny, though I haven’t seen it since it originally aired, I don’t think. The Florida episode was pretty bad, but for “Golden Era” bad Simpsons, I always think of the one where Bleeding Gums Murphy dies. What a pile of crap (and it featured Lisa singing the loathsome “Jazzman” - ugh).

Bingo - we have a winner. Simpsons is usually inciteful, topical and funny. When the producers/directors/actors/etc. start preaching, particularly on politics, they lose all three qualities.

You can say pretty much say the same of Groening’s other show, Futurama. Probably my least favorite episode of that series was the one where they get preachy about Zoidberg’s right to eat the flag.

Suprisingly, Ian Maxtone-Graham didn’t write that episode.
Three that stick out in my mind (besides Saddlesore and Bart to the Future):
She Used To Be My Girl: Didn’t really find anything amusing about this episode.
Marge in Chains: The only episode of the “classic era” of the Simpsons I truly dislike. Other than Lionel Hutz’s wonderful breakdown in court over “the brownest of the brown liquors,” there isn’t really that much amusing in that episode to me. Other than the line where he’s referred to as “history’s greatest monster,” the Carter jokes don’t really catch on for me.
Dude, Where’s My Ranch?: The infamous Ian Maxtone-Graham at his worst. The first act about the Christmas carol that turns into an anti-Ned song is brilliant, but the rest is just horrible. At only two words- “my precious”- Andy Sirkis holds the record for shortest Simpsons guest appearance- a record previously held by Dr. Joyce Brothers: “I brought my own mike!” (Dudley Herschbach may tie the record based on how you count: his only line in THOH 14 is “I disagree,” but he says it twice.)

Any Simpson’s episode where I laugh is a good one. I like the occasional weepy episode, or one where we learn something about a character, but as long as its funny I don’t really care if the characters actions are inconsistent, or the plot doesn’t make sense, or whatever. Armin Tanzarian was funny, so it was a good episode, regardless of if it made sense or not.

The worst episodes are the ones I don’t remember. Over the years, The Simpsons have accumiliated a lot of episodes where the plots are repeats (or thirdpetes or whatever) of previous episodes, the jokes are predictable and unfunny, etc. All these episodes have sort of formed into one big generic unfunny Simpson’s episode in my head. That’s the worst simpsons episode.

Mines is this this appalling waste of time: The Frying Game

  • The screamapillar, just screaming for the first five minutes is headache inducing.

  • Homer pointlessly sentenced to community service, so meets an old lady and suddenly Homer and Marge are her servants. (This would perhaps even work if it was a seinfeld reference to do with Butlers and pilot episodes)

  • Woman dies. Homer and Marge accused. Sent to electric chair.

  • Isn’t really, just a stupid game show. Which frames people for murder. Yeah right.

I kind of like that one though. Bart and Milhouse trying to be 60’s-era swinging cool is pretty funny. The bakeoff at the end wasn’t all that great, but Marge in the new kitchen is worht a few laughs.

I kind of wish they kept the kitchen, but it really doesn’t matter.

The one where Bart joins the faux Boy Scouts gets, if not title for worst, at least Miss Uncongeniality.

Homer at his worst is usually just a lovable doofus, but in that episode he turned into a world-class jerk. I found him to be so unlikable that I could barely watch. But that episode still gets props for “free goo.”