Vanity Fair has just published a list of its top 10 Simpsons episodes. Isn't that adorable? It's like the New Yorker running a list of the top 10 grunge bands (you GO, Osmonds!).
Step aside, Vanity Fair, and let a real fan tell you which Simpsons are the top 10.
10. Treehouse of Horror IV -- Season 5. Homer sells his soul for a donut; spoof on Bram Stoker's Dracula. Highlights: Hell's "Ironic Punishment Division," in which Homer is force-fed thousands of donuts -- and keeps saying, "More, please." Homer, when asked whether something seems funny about Burns (secretly Dracula), responds: "Yeah, his hair looks so queer."
9. Homer the Great -- Season 6. Homer joins a fraternal organization called the Stonecutters. Highlights -- lyrics to the Stonecutters song include, "Who holds back the electric car? Who makes Steve Guttenberg a star? We do!"
8. A Streetcar Named Marge -- Season 4. Marge stars in a musical production of "Streetcar" -- which has a happy ending. Highlights: Lyrics to the musical's main theme call the city of New Orleans, among other things, "brackish"; Apu as the paper boy; the final number -- a rousing, happy show tune proclaiming, "You can always depend on the kindness of strangers!"
7. El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer -- Season 8. Homer eats a chili pepper that sends him on an acid-like trip. Highlights: Surreal visuals of Southwestern landscape. Homer's comment when his spirit guide says Homer must learn a lesson: "If it's about laying off the Guatemalan insanity peppers, I'm way ahead of you."
6. Homer's Barbershop Quartet -- Season 5. Beatles spoof in which Homer is in a wildly popular barbershop quartet (hey, something had to fill the gap while the world awaited the arrival of "Achy, Breaky Heart.") Highlights: To come up with a band name, Principal Skinner says they need something "that sounds less funny every time you hear it." Thus were born the B Sharps. Homer on Dexy's Midnight Runners: "You haven't heard the last of them."
5. Children of a Lesser Clod -- Season 12. Home on disability, Homer begins his own daycare center. Highlight: Arnie Pie's narration of a televised high-speed chase after Homer abducts the children in a truck then crashes. Kent Brockman: "Arnie, Arnie: How are the children?" Arnie: "I can't see through metal, Kent!"
4. Flaming Moe's -- Season 3. Moe takes credit for Homer's drink recipe and gets rich. Highlights: Homer in the rafters as a spoof of "Phantom of the Opera." Graphics accompanying the takeoff on the "Cheers" theme.
3. Little Big Mom -- Season 11 (One of Dan Castellaneta's favorites as well). After Marge is injured in a skiing accident, Lisa takes over the household. Highlights: Homer loses control while skiing and, in trying to remember his skiing lesson, can't blot out the image of Ned Flanders' taut, wiggling bottom in a skin-tight ski leotard. Homer cries out, "Stupid sexy Flanders!"
2. A Fish Called Selma -- Season 7. Selma learns her marriage to washed-up movie star Troy McClure is a sham to resurrect his career. Highlights: Troy lands a part in a musical version of "Planet of the Apes," in which the song "Rock Me, Amadeus" is adapted as "Help Me, Dr. Zaius."
1. Behind the Laughter -- Season 11. Mock VH1 documentary examining the rise of TV's first family. Highlights: Most of the narration. For example, in recounting the story of Homer's desire to create a TV show, Marge says, "So I told him: Do it! (Bleep) or get off the pot." Then, cutting to a shot of Homer working at a typewriter, the narrator says, "And (bleep) he did."
Honorable mention: Marge Gets a Job; Simpsons Bible Stories; Rosebud; Who Shot Mr. Burns? Selma's Choice; Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk; 22 Short Films About Springfield; Weekend at Burnsie's. Whatever recent episode it was in which, when it was pointed out that Jesus wore sandals, Homer said something like, "Maybe if he wore better shoes they wouldn't have caught him."