The Simpsons turns 30: The all-time greatest one-liners

The Simpsons 21/04/2017

It sounds unpossible, but The Simpsons has been on TV for three decades now.

The dysfunctional family first hit screens on The Tracey Ullman Show in April 1987. To put that into context, when it began this author was about Lisa's age - I'm now as old as Homer.

The show's early seasons focused largely on the delinquent Bart, but a shift to Homer marked the beginning of The Simpsons' 1990s golden age.

Few would argue it's ever reached those heights again, and the show's 30-year stretch is a product of enduring goodwill generated by episodes like 'Cape Feare', 'Last Exit to Springfield' and 'Homer the Great'.

But as the yellow family sang in 2002's 'Gump Roast', they'll never stop The Simpsons.

And even if they do, at least we'll always have these classic quotes - just a few of the many the residents of Springfield have delivered over if not the last 30 years, at least the first 10.
 

"He was a zombie?"

'Treehouse of Horror III', season four. Springfield is fighting off a zombie uprising. Homer downs his neighbourino Ned Flanders with a shotgun.

"Dad - you killed the zombie Flanders!" says Bart.

Homer, confused, gives a priceless reply.

"He was a zombie?"

 

"To alcohol! The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems!"

'Homer vs the Eighteenth Amendment', season eight. After Bart gets drunk on St Patrick's Day, Springfield decides to enforce a 200-year-old law against alcohol.

One thing leads to another, and just as Homer is about to be literally catapulted out of the town after making his own dangerous cocktail of exploding moonshine, Mayor Quimby orders the mafia to once again flood the town with booze.

Cue Homer's immortal ode to drink: "To alcohol! The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems!"
 

"Lisa needs braces… Dental plan."

'Last Exit to Springfield', season four - often cited as the single greatest episode in the series' 30-year history.

Mr Burns takes away his employees' dental plan, sweetening the blow by giving them a free keg of beer. At the same time it's discovered Lisa needs braces.

It dawns on Homer - slowly - that perhaps The Simpsons really need that dental plan after all. Really slowly. Reeeeeally slowly.
 

"Eurgh. Eurgh. Eurgh. Eurgh. Eurgh. Eurgh. Eurgh. Eurgh. Eurgh. Eurgh. Eurgh. Eurgh."

'Cape Feare', season five. Sideshow Bob, strapped to the undercarriage of the Simpsons' car, has just been dragged through a cactus field. After the family park the car and leave, Sideshow Bob crawls out from underneath and promptly steps on 12 rakes, each springing up and smacking him in the face.

Sideshow Bob was originally only meant to step on one rake, but the episode was running short.


"I was saying Boo-urns."

'A Star is Burns', season six. Mr Burns' bombastic and self-congratulatory film biopic, directed by Senor Spielbergo, is roundly booed at a film festival. A confused Mr Burns asks his loyal assistant Waylon Smithers if they are booing him.

"No, they're saying Boo-urns! Boo-urns!" Mr Smithers tells him.

"Are you saying 'boo' or 'Boo-urns'?" the business mogul asks the crowd. Most reply "boo!" except Hans Moleman.

"I was saying Boo-urns," he meekly protests.


"Homer Simpson, smiling politely."

'Homerpalooza', season seven. Homer's on tour with the Smashing Pumpkins, Cypress Hill and, err, Peter Frampton.

"Billy Corgan, Smashing Pumpkins," Corgan tells Homer, the former still rocking a full head of hair.

"Homer Simpson, smiling politely," Homer replies, before telling him the band's "gloomy music" has stopped his children wishing for a future he couldn't possibly provide.


"Stupid sexy Flanders!"

'Little Big Mom', season 11. The first episode of The Simpsons to air this millennium contained one of the series' most enduring scenes - Homer struggling to get "Stupid sexy Flanders" in a tight-fitting skisuit out of his thoughts.


"Everything's coming up Milhouse!"

'Mom and Pop Art', season 10. Springfield is flooded, including Milhouse's bedroom. But on discovering his 'flood pants' are keeping his cuffs dry, he utters the immortal phrase.


"I wanted a peanut."

'Boy-Scoutz N the Hood', season five. Homer is reaching under his couch and finds $20 - but it's no cause for celebration, yet.

"Oh, 20 dollars. I wanted a peanut," he laments, before his subconscious tells him $20 is enough to buy "many peanuts".

"Explain how," he demands. "Money can be exchanged for goods and services," his brain replies.

"Woo-hoo!"


"Am I so out of touch? No, it is the children who are wrong."

'The Boy Who Knew Too Much', season five. Principal Skinner - or is that Arman Tamzarian? - is trying to catch a truant Bart, so goes to the Springfield Natural History Museum. Bart's not there. Nor is he at a local youth club.

"Am I so out of touch? No, it is the children who are wrong," he declares.

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