In honor of the show’s 500th episode, the Guardian conducted a reader poll to pick the top ten, all of which not surprisingly came from the program’s first decade (yes I too haven’t seen an episode in many years).
A few personal favorites:
Tree house of Horror VII:
Kodos: It’s true, we are aliens. But what are you going to do about it? It’s a two-party system. You have to vote for one of us.
Man 1: He’s right, this is a two-party system.
Man 2: Well I believe I’ll vote for a third-party candidate.
Kang: Go ahead, throw your vote away.
Bart Sells His Soul
Lisa: Hmmm, Pablo Neruda said “Laughter is the language of the soul.”
Bart [obviously offended]: I am familiar with the works of Pablo Neruda.
Mr. Burns Runs For Mayor
Mr. Burns: This anonymous clan of slack-jawed troglodytes has cost me the election, and yet if I were to have them killed, I would be the one to go to jail. That’s democracy for you.
Smithers: You are noble and poetic in defeat, sir.
Dr. Taylor: Hi Lisa. I’m Alison’s father, Professor Taylor. I’ve heard great things about you.
Lisa: Oh really? I…
Dr. Taylor: Oh, don’t be modest. I’m glad we have someone who can join us in our anagram game.
Alison Taylor: We take proper names and rearrange the letters to form a description of that person.
Dr. Taylor: Like, er… oh, I don’t know, uh… Alec Guinness.
Alison Taylor: [thinking] Genuine class.
Dr. Taylor: Ho ho, very good. Alright Lisa, um… Jeremy Irons.
Lisa: [looks worried] Jeremy’s… iron.
Dr. Taylor: Mm hmm, well, that’s… very good… for a first try. You know what? I have a ball. Perhaps you’d like to bounce it?
Homer v. the 18th Amendment:
Homer: To alcohol . . . the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.
Shary Bobbins: (basically the whole episode)
Shary: If there’s a task that must be done,
Don’t turn your tail and run,
Don’t pout, don’t sob,
Just do a half-assed job!
If… you… cut every corner
It is really not so bad,
Everybody does it,
Even mom and dad.
If nobody sees it,
Then nobody gets mad,
Bart: It’s the American way!
Shary: The policeman on the beat
Needs some time to rest his feet.
Wiggum: Fighting crime is not my cup of tea!
Shary: And the clerk who runs the store
Can charge a little more
Apu: For meat!
Shary: And milk!
Apu: And milk!
Both: From 1984!
Shary: If… you… cut every corner,
You’ll have more time for play,
Shary & OFF: It’s the American waaaaay!
You Only Move Twice:
4th Grade Teacher: [On Bart's first day in his new school the teacher discovers he can't read cursive handwriting] So, you never learned cursive?
Bart: Well, I know “hell” and “damn” and “get ben…”
4th Grade Teacher: No, no! Cursive handwriting! Script! Do you know multiplication tables? Long division?
Bart: I know *of* them.
4th Grade Teacher: [Unimpressed] Hmm.
Lisa the Vegetarian
Lisa: When will all those fools learn that you can be perfectly healthy simply eating vegetables, fruits, grains and cheese.
Apu: Oh, cheese!
Lisa: You don’t eat cheese, Apu?
Apu: No I don’t eat any food that comes from an animal.
Lisa: Ohh, then you must think I’m a monster!
Apu: Yes indeed I do think that. But, I learned long ago Lisa to tolerate others rather than forcing my beliefs on them. You know you can influence people without badgering them always.
And of course “Meat and You” (from the educational film series “Resistance is Futile”):