By: Connor Lenahan
Previously in the bracket marathon: Moe’s Tavern Region.
After a long day of early era Simpsons yesterday we are hitting the greatest stretch of television in history. I woke this morning to the middle of season three and have watched into season four – one of the strongest seasons any show has ever had.
More Simpsons means more brackets. After “You Only Move Twice” made the finals yesterday it’s time to find out what will join it. Without further ado, here’s the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant region.
“The Springfield Files” over “Judge Me Tender,” “E Pluribus Wiggum” over “Elementary School Musical,” “The Strong Arms of the Ma” over “Love, Springfieldian Style,” “Marge on the Lam” over “All About Lisa,” “Lisa on Ice” over “Grift of the Magi,” “Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder” over “Tales from the Public Domain,” “A Tale of Two Springfields” over “The Seemingly Neverending Story,” “Lisa’s First Word” over “The Burns and the Bees,” “Team Homer” over “G.I. D’oh,” “Screaming Yellow Honkers” over “The Lastest Gun in the West,” “And Maggie Makes Three” over “Marge Gamer,” The Last Temptation of Homer” over “Treehouse 23,” “Two Bad Neighbors” over “Boy Meets Curl,” “There’s No Disgrace Like Home” over “Simpsons Christmas Stories,” “D’oh-in in the Wind” over “Father Knows Worst,” “Weekend at Burnsies’s” over “Dangerous Curves,” “Treehouse 1” over “Bye, Bye, Nerdie,” “Separate Vocations” over “Moe Letter Blues,” “Bart The Daredevil” over “Margical History Tour,” “Deep Space Homer” over “So It’s Come To This: A Simpsons Clip Show.”
“The Mook, the Chef, the Wife, and Her Homer” over “The Scorpion’s Tale,” “Penny-Wiseguys” over “Brake My Wife, Please,” “Million Dollar Maybe” over “Regarding Margie,” “The Boys of Bummer” over “The Good, the Sad, and the Drugly.”
“Sideshow Bob Roberts” over “Bart the General” – As I said yesterday, Sideshow Bob is my second favorite character behind Homer. It’s easy for him to take that spot when episodes like “Sideshow Bob Roberts” exist. One of the finest political moments the series ever has.
“The Way We Was” over “Black Widower” – And just like that a Sideshow Bob episode, and a good one at that, drops out. Why? Because “I’m going to hug you, and kiss you, and then I’ll never be able to let you go” is one of the sweetest moments ever.
“Homer The Great” over “Lisa The Iconoclast” – It’s hard to pick against a story as great as “Lisa The Iconoclast” or Homer’s moments as a town crier who doesn’t “su-diddly-uck,” but the Stonecutters are just the best. Even little things, like Homer’s yellow paint tracking of Lenny and Carl, are flawless.
“Radioactive Man” over “The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show” – Two classics, but I give an edge to “Radioactive Man” for the increasingly crazy ways the movie begins to fall apart. I will openly admit that I could change my mind on this 100 times too; I just had to pick.
“Lisa the Beauty Queen” over “Simpson Tide” – When in doubt, pick Lisa becoming a beauty queen because the first place winner was struck by lightening over Homer accidentally causing World War 3.
“Two Cars in Every Garage, Three Eyes on Every Fish” over “In Marge We Trust” – I will pay any amount of money in the world to have a three eyed goldfish. Give me Blinky now, dammit.
“Hurricane Neddy” over “Politically Inept, with Homer Simpson” – “Politically Inept” had one of the stronger premises for any episode of the past three seasons, but completely lost it’s way in the second half. Meanwhile watching Ned Flanders go bezerk will never not be funny.
“22 Short Films About Springfield” over “Duffless” – “Duffless” is a really sweet story and really funny, which makes it sad that it got crushed this early. “22 Short Films” is one of the more brilliant episodes ever. Think how crazy it is that they juggled as much as they did to pull off a hilarious episode AND a Pulp Fiction parody. Game over.
“The Springfield Files” over “The Mook, the Chef, the Wife, and Her Homer,” “Sideshow Bob Roberts” over “E Pluribus Wiggum,” “The Strong Arms of the Ma” over “Penny-Wiseguys,” “Lisa on Ice” over “Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder,” “Homer The Great” over “Million Dollar Maybe,” “Lisa’s First Word” over “A Tale of Two Springfields,” “Radioactive Man” over “The Boys of Bummer,” “Team Homer” over “Lisa The Beauty Queen,” “And Maggie Makes Three” over “Screaming Yellow Honkers,” “Treehouse 1” over “Weekend at Burnsies’s,” “22 Short Films” over “Separate Vocations.”
“The Way We Was” over “Marge on the Lam” – The edge here falls to the story of how America’s greatest couple, Homer and Marge, came to be. That said, recognition is due to Homer getting his arms caught in two separate vending machines. “They’ll grow back right?” is a question we have all asked at some point.
“The Last Temptation of Homer” over “Two Cars, Three Eyes” – As amazing as Blinky is, it cannot hold up next to Homer coming as close to adultery as he ever does without actually going through with it. Who thought almost adultery would be hilarious?
“Two Bad Neighbors” over “There’s No Disgrace Like Home” – I’m not sure I have ever fully realized that Homer gets in a fist fight with Bush 41, but it’s one of the best moments of my life regardless. It’s perfect.
“D’oh-in in the Wind” over “Hurricane Neddy” – Homer has forever runined Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl” for me thanks to “D’oh-in in the Wind.” I have absolutely nothing wrong with it at all.
“Deep Space Homer” over “Bart The Daredevil” – Not only was “Bart the Daredevil” the introduction of Lance Murdock and Truck-o-Saurus, but it includes one of the funniest moments in the show with Homer trying to jump the gorge. However, “Deep Space Homer” is too good. Inanimate Carbon Rod, NASA, James Taylor, Planet of the Apes – It has it all.
“The Way We Was” over “The Strong Arms of the Ma”
“Sideshow Bob Roberts” over “The Springfield Files” – Two great episodes, but there has to be a winner. “Sideshow Bob Roberts” is one of the most brilliantly written episodes the show has to offer. It’s a sharp parody of “All The President’s Men” that is great on every watch. Plus, Sideshow Bob in A+ form. “The Springfield Files” is a hilarious episode, but its time has come.
“Homer The Great” over “Lisa on Ice” – “Lisa on Ice” is great, but there are legitimate tears in my eyes every time the story moves to Stonecutters headquarters. There’s a non-zero chance I will get a Stonecutter tattoo too.
“Lisa’s First Word” over “Radioactive Man” – Not just for the glory that is Bart as a toddler, or Lisa as an adorable newborn, but for Maggie’s “Daddy,” which has moved me close to tears on every viewing.
“And Maggie Makes Three” over “Team Homer” – Remember how I said close to tears? The only character that has reduced me to a blubbering mess is Maggie thanks to “do it for her” at the end of this episode. I’m getting choked up thinking about it.
“The Last Temptation of Homer” over “Two Bad Neighbors” – Is there a sweeter song in history than “Oh Margie, you came and you found me a turkey…?” I say no.
“Treehouse 1” over “D’oh-in in the Wind” – “Treehouse 1” is the episode with “Bad Dream House,” where the house wants to kill them, “Hungry Are The Damned” which introduced Kang and Kodos along with “How to Cook for Forty Humans,” and “The Raven,” with Darth Vader narrating. This is an easy choice.
“Deep Space Homer” over “22 Short Films” – Two flawless episodes, but there really aren’t many lines funnier than “and I for one welcome our new insect overlords.” “Deep Space Homer” is a quote factory, and I just cannot pick against it.
“Sideshow Bob Roberts” over “The Way We Was” – There really is no weak moment in the entirety of “Sideshow Bob Roberts.” They pack an incredible amount of story into one half hour. It’s fast, it’s smart, it’s hilarious, it’s our winner here.
“Homer The Great” over “Lisa’s First Word” – “I think I have to do it again, my blindfold came off.” Dead. Every. Time. Sweetness falls to hilarity.
“And Maggie Makes Three” over “The Last Temptation of Homer” – I have watched far too much television in my day. Not just confined to The Simpsons, but over every show I have ever watched, I cannot think of a scene that touches my heart like Homer’s love for Maggie. While he may forget her in the house, he never forgets her at work, and it leaves me a blubbering mess every time.
“Deep Space Homer” over “Treehouse of Horror” – Homer goes to space and repeatedly dooms the mission. Is there any way that premise isn’t hilarious? If you don’t think the animation on Homer’s corkscrewing chomp on his disaster coated Ruffle is beautiful then you are doing life wrong.
“Homer The Great” over “Sideshow Bob Roberts” – We’ve gotten this far into this section of the bracket without even the slightest mention of “We Do.” That is how good “Homer The Great” is. For as brilliant an episode “Sideshow Bob Roberts” is, it just doesn’t have the flawless moments of it opposition.
“Deep Space Homer” over “And Maggie Makes Three” – This was like picking between two of my children. I didn’t want to make this choice. I overthought it. What my gut told me was “Deep Space Homer” because it causes such sever belly laughs. Is it the right choice? Maybe. Is it the choice here? Yes.
“Homer The Great” over “Deep Space Homer” – Jumping into the Springfield Gorge would be easier. This hurt. It was a little easier than the last decision, but it was still painful to choose. I went with “Homer The Great” because it’s just a bit stronger. I still love you “Deep Space Homer.”
And now, for the monkey reenactment of the Battle of Gettysburg.
Coming Tomorrow: The Springfield Elementary Region