Coming up with the ten best Simpsons episodes for this list was an interesting exercise in patience. Although, it was not my intention, I found that most of the shows that I wanted to revisit were from the earlier seasons. I refused to put in a show that I didn't like, but I assure you that I did consider all of them. As I followed the seasons, I could clearly see how the show grew from the roughness of season 1 to turning into something great by season 2 and the unfortunate decline by season 10. Be sure to leave your suggestions in the comment section if you disagree.
10 – Bart's Dog Gets An F (Season 2, Ep. 16/March 7, 1991): After several acts of destruction by Bart's dog the family demands that Santa's Little Helper go to obedience school or he will be given away. The dog does awful and refuses to use a choke chain as instructed by the teacher. On the day before the big test the dog finally begins to understand Bart's commands. He passes the test with flying colors.
9 – Bart Gets An F (Season 2, Ep. 1/October 11, 1990): When faced with repeating the fourth grade Bart makes a deal with Martin Prince, the class genius. Bart will show Martin how to become more cool and in return he will help Bart with his studies. Martin abandons Bart to go and play practical jokes. Bart prays to God to make something happen so he will have more time to study. That night a huge snowstorm hits Springfield closing the school. While everyone else plays, Bart studies. The next day, he takes the history test and still fails. Bart breaks down and compares his experience to one in history. This impresses Mrs. Krabappel enough she gives him enough points to make a D.
8 – Itchy and Scratchy and Marge (Season 2, Ep. 9/December 20, 1990): Maggie begins to imitate the actions she sees on The Itchy & Scratchy Show with Homer being the victim. After Maggie hits Homer in the head with a hammer and then tries to stab him with a pencil, Marge draws the line. She immediately takes actions and forces the creators to take all the violence out of the show. Children all over think the show is crap now, and begin to go outside and play. The violence is eventually brought back when Marge realizes that it's wrong to censor one form of art and not another.
7 – The Old Man And Lisa (Season 8, Ep. 21/April 20, 1997): Through a series of poor investments Mr. Burns is forced to declare bankruptcy and humbly approaches Lisa to help him recover his fortune. She agrees with the condition that he stop his evil ways. He agrees, and they start making money by recycling. He soon has enough money to buy a recycling plant where his evil ways returned. Mr. Burns has made nets out of plastic 6-pack holders to catch sea life from which he makes a popular animal slurry. He eventually sells the plant for $120 million and goes to Lisa offering her 10%. She refuses.
6 – Bart The Murderer (Season 3, Ep. 4/October 10, 1991): Bart accidentally crashes down a stairwell of a Mafia bar where he meets the owner, Fat Tony. Bart wins everyone over by making a Manhattan cocktail and picking a winning horse during a horse race on TV; Fat Tony hires Bart as a bartender on the spot. A few days later, Principal Skinner disappears after a visit by the mob discussing Bart's detention. Bart and his new friends are suspected and Fat Tony quickly folds, blaming it all on Bart. Skinner, however, saves the day when he explains he has been trapped in his garage under a stack of papers the whole time he was missing.
5 – Bart After Dark (Season 8, Ep. 5/November 24, 1996): Bart accidentally breaks a gargoyle at a creepy house and Belle, the owner of the house, demands that he do chores as punishment. He quickly begins to enjoy the job as he finds out that he is working at a burlesque house. An angry group of townspeople find out about the house and go there with the intent of destroying it. Their minds are changed after hearing a song from the showgirls and a few of Springfield's male residents.
4 – Homer The Great (Season 6, Ep. 12/January 8, 1995): Homer notices that Carl and Lenny are getting a lot of special privileges so he investigates and finds that they are a member of The Stonecutters (a secret organization). They admit Homer into the association because his father is also a member. It doesn't take long for Homer to screw up and as punishment he is forced to walk naked dragging the "stone of shame." Others notice a birthmark and quickly come to the conclusion that Homer is the "Chosen One."
3 – Lisa The Greek (Season 3, Ep. 14/January 23, 1992): Lisa decides to bond with Homer by watching football with him. He eventually discovers that Lisa has the uncanny ability to pick winning football teams all the time. Reality crashes down as Lisa realizes that Homer is only interested in her skills to pick teams. They eventually work out their disagreement and after the football season ends, they go hiking together.
2 – King Of The Hill (Season 9, Ep. 23/May 3, 1998): Homer disappoints Bart during a church picnic game due to him being out of shape. The incident causes Homer to begin working out. During a late night run he discovers a 24-hour gym where he meets his future fitness coach, Rainier Wolfcastle. He eventually tells his family he's been secretly working out after they notice he is stronger and leaner than ever. Bart volunteers Homer to climb a dangerous mountain called The Murderhorn, and he agrees to make his son proud. In the end he successfully reaches the peak and sleds back down on a frozen body he found in a cave.
1 – Cape Feare (Season 5, Ep. 2/October 7, 1993): Sideshow Bob is released from prison and makes it no secret that he is coming after Bart. After some deliberation the Simpson family decides to go into the Witness Relocation Program and is relocated to a houseboat on Terror Lake. Sideshow Bob finds out where the Simpsons are and goes after them. In a final showdown, Bart tricks Bob into singing the score to the H.M.S. Pinafore, which buys enough time for the police to make the arrest.
• Bart The General (Season 1, Ep. 5): Bart and the other kids get even with Nelson the bully.
• E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt) (Season 11, Ep. 5): Homer begins slapping people in the face with a glove and making challenges. Someone finally accepts.
• Treehouse Of Horror XIV (Season 15, Ep. 1): Homer becomes the Grim Reaper after killing the previous one while protecting Bart.