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Oh, that's raspberry!

My Simpsons Ultimate Episode Ratings and Rankings: Season 15, Part 1

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1.'Tis the Fifteenth Season - 5/5
2.The Way We Weren't - 5/5
3.Simple Simpson - 5/5
4.I, D'oh-Bot - 4.5/5
5.Fraudcast News - 4.5/5
6.The Fat and the Furriest - 4.5/5
7.Co-Dependent's Day - 4.5/5
8.Smart and Smarter - 4.5/5

The Top 8. Why 8? I decided that I would at least try to limit each part to two number grades at the most, unless that left me with only one or two episodes. So what can I say about these episodes? Well, first off I should point out that the top eight all range from either a perfect or near perfect score. That's right, 8 out of 22 episodes in Season 15 were at least 4.5/5;that's over a third of the season! I guess this means I like this season, huh?

I know, I know, many will likely say I'm giving this season too much credit. To this all I can really say is: first, it is only my opinion, and second, you may be right. I am the first to admit that I am an extremely lenient grader when it comes to the Simpsons. If it bothers anyone that much all I can suggest is to stop reading right here.

Speaking of the episodes themselves though, my top 3 are all episodes I suspected would be 5/5 even before I re-watched them. 'Tis the Fifteeth Seasons just tells a great story with great jokes and characterizations. I particularly like Flanders' role in this episode. It is easily the best Christmas episode since Marge Be Not Proud, and is likely #3 in regards to Christmas-themed episodes all time. The Way We Weren't is another great episode. It feels like a great mix of Jean's Season 3 and 4 episodes with his Season 8 and 9 episodes. What I mean is it has the sense of good storytelling like in I Married Marge or Lisa's Sax, but has several great gags reminiscent of The Springfield Files. It is the best flashback episode since Lisa's Sax, and the last one worth remembering. Simple Simpson is a great gag fest that gives Homer a chance to shine. The Spider-Man parody may be dated, but it still works brilliantly. It is an episode which is an absolute pleasure to watch;I honestly forgot just how good it is. Jim Reardon picked a great episode to leave on.

If anyone managed to get this far without thinking I've greatly overrated things then here's where you're likely gonna disagree with me. Let me get this out of the way first: The Fat and the Furriest and Co-Dependent's Day are only as high as they are because they both have a great amount of sentimental value to me. If you'd like to know more, particularly regarding Co-Dependent's Day, see my review in its episode thread. I know both of these episodes are flawed, I really do. However, I have always loved much as a man can love episodes of a cartoon....don't think too hard about that. The only other defense of the episodes that I can make is that I was still fairly young(my early teens) when watching them, and they just always stuck with me. I laugh many, many times at these episodes. I know they aren't great pieces of satire, I know they have weird to downright poor characterizations, but I just find them too funny, too entertaining really, to let that bother me much. Probably a bit too high, but I stand by my grading with these two episodes.

The remaining three episodes I really don't think I'll have to defend too much. Fraudcast News probably remains the best use of Mr. Burns in a non-format bender(The Seemingly Never-Ending Story) to this day. It has good satire, good jokes, good characterization, what's not to like? I D'oh-Bot does have that controversial Lisa plot with Principal Tamzarian, but I love it. Other than that, it is a solid Bart and Homer relationship story done right, very good stuff. Finally we have Smart and Smarter and maybe its because I love Maggie stories, but this is a very good episode. I must point out that even though it is a 4.5, it is still number 8 on the list meaning 7 episodes from Season 15 are better, but it is still a very good episode. Highlights include Wiggum and the boys and Homer with the Phonics Frog. Hell even Simon Cowell was pretty good...unlike in another it gives us a good Lisa and Maggie story. Not too many episodes have focused on their relationship either.

What else? I guess I should mention how I differentiate between episodes with the same number grade. I had 5 episodes here with a 4.5/5 rating right, so how did I rank them? To put it simply, I just took a closer look at them and ranked them from best to worst. All are in the same tier, but a couple of jokes or a better story point is really all it takes for me to put one above another.

Well, alright then I guess that's all for Part 1, stay tuned for the next part in which I'll be ranking all the episodes I graded 4/5.


  1. Comicshow MolemanBob's Avatar
    Great review I, like you, really enjoy season 15 and look forward to reading more of your reviews

    Keep up the good work
  2. Oh, that's raspberry!'s Avatar
    Thanks! I would've had part 2 up yesterday if my internet hadn't crapped out on me. Still hoping to get it up today sometime...