Sitcoms and sports don't always cross paths, but when they do it often makes for some quality television. This is especially true for The Simpsons, who have had well over two and a half decades worth of episodes to explore seemingly every topic known to man. Sports isn't one that they've typically needed to rely on, but the moments featured on this list have been forever ingrained in all of our brains due to the amount of times they have been shown on television through syndication. Does anyone else remember watching at least three episodes a day, five days a week?
We tried to pick out the best overall moments plural over any singular moment of the episode because whenever you get a discussion about your favorite moments in The Simpsons, their sheer volume of work sends everyone down the same rabbit hole. Everyone seems to have a similar reaction trying to keep the ball rolling with their own memories about what they remember the fondest, so the choices here certainly aren't limited. We suppose that is inevitable when you've been on television consistently for 27 seasons.
Unfortunately, many of the clips are inaccessible online, so screenshots will have to suffice. And trust me, if they were available on YouTube, you'd have a really hard time suppressing the urge of constantly wanting to click to see the next video; it really is a trap. But, in any event, we hope that you enjoy our comprehensive list of 16 hilarious moments from The Simpsons about sports. Please don't get too sidetracked!
15 Dancin' Homer
Bleedin' Gums Murphy makes an appearance as the guest anthem singer for a Springfield Isotopes game, but only Lisa fully appreciates his 26 minute rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, with everyone else in the crowd laboring to stay upright and awake throughout the draining performance. Homer decides to get the lackluster crowd fired up by taking matters into his own hands and becomes a makeshift mascot. It proves to be a major success and the team quickly goes on a winning streak, prompting the team to hire Homer as their new official mascot: Dancin' Homer. Homer then gets promoted to Capital City, where he references Lou Gehrig's famous speech: "Today... I consider myself... the luckiest mascot... on the face of the Earth."
14 Lisa the Greek
It's no question Homer is a fan of football (after all, his lifelong dream is to one day own the Dallas Cowboys), but who would have thought that Lisa would be the better sports gambler? The title of the episode references Jimmy "the Greek" Snyder who became famous for his ability to correctly wager on football games more often than not on the TV show NFL Today, so it's no surprise that The Simpsons easily lifted this idea and made an entire episode about Lisa becoming a great football prognosticator. Hilarious moment: when Lisa starts to realize her Dad is using her predictions to call in bets to Moe's, he compares it to adding an assortment of toppings to plain ice cream. Also, the reveal at the end when the Dolphins do the impossible and come back to win caps off the episode quite nicely.
13 Dead Putting Society
A defining episode of the rivalry between Flanders and Homer, "Dead Putting Society" pits Bart vs. Todd in a winner-take-all $50 Children's Mini-Golf Tournament. Memorable lines: "What's the sound of one hand clapping?" - to which Bart starts to clapping his fingers into his palms. "No, Bart. It's a 3000 year old riddle with no answer. It's supposed to clear your mind of conscious thought." - "No answer? Lisa, listen up! " - again clapping with one hand successfully. "That shot is impossible! Jack Nicholson himself couldn't make it!" And "Come on, Bart! Remember what Vince Lombardi said: If you lose, you're out of the family!"
12 Soccer Hits Springfield
Springfield gets soccer fever, but it doesn't last very long when they quickly realize that Americans don't like soccer, or at least the snail's pace of the game. "Pelé" is referenced briefly, as all he does is endorse a kitchen product for 10 seconds and leaves with a sack full of money. As excitement over the start of the match quickly dwindles down, play by play announcer Kent Brockman also sees the waning action and describes the play: "Half back passes to the center, back to wing, back to center, holds it... holds it... ugh HOLDS it." Meanwhile, an overly excited Spanish announcer has the opposite reaction and can hardly contain himself while announcing the boring action.
11 Bart Star
Nelson Muntz and the rest of the children in Springfield join pee wee football after a recently published study showed that every child in the town is overweight. Muntz clearly emerges as the star athlete, and he easily leads Springfield to several wins as quarterback with Ned Flanders' coaching prowess actually proving to be a good influence on the team as a whole. This gets disrupted immediately after Homer demands to take over the team from Flanders and puts Bart in as quarterback despite Bart lacking Nelson's natural talent. Oddly enough, the best part of the episode is the ending credits where Homer essentially "cuts" everyone responsible for making the episode, including the "shushing" woman from the Gracie Films tag. Joe Namath is the only one Homer says can stay on the team.
10 Sunday Cruddy Sunday
"The road to the Super Bowl is long... and pointless. I mean, when you think about it. But now, the two conference champs must survive a harrowing bye week, which no one enjoys." Homer and a crew of other notable characters all believe that they have tickets to the upcoming Super Bowl, only to find out that they were actually just crackers. They're all thrown in jail at one point, where they start to do their own versions of the opening kickoff: a swift kick to Homer's backside. Dr. Hibbert can be heard saying the line, "As a doctor, I'd say he's had enough, but as a football fan..." and then delivers one more blow. Honorable mention: the ridiculous Super Bowl commercial with a car pulling up to a lone gas station in the middle of the desert endorsed by the Catholic Church, who have "made a few changes," mostly involving beautiful women in scantily clad outfits.
9 "Aww, the Denver Broncos?!"
Hank Scorpio successfully seizes the East Coast, due in part by Homer's influence on his staff by motivating them with a hat signed by Tom Landry, so Hank rewards Homer with a very generous gift: the Denver Broncos. "Aww, the Denver Broncos?!" is how Homer reacts to his new-found ownership of the current Super Bowl Champions, but it was always Homer's dream to own the Dallas Cowboys. He has to accept that the Broncos are at least a start, and even Marge comments that owning the Denver Broncos is pretty good, only to be yeah-yeah'd by Homer and told that she just doesn't understand football. The Broncos team is shown practicing on their front lawn, with balls bouncing off their helmets and receivers falling down before making a catch.
8 Lisa on Ice
This episode is one of the greatest episodes of all time, and not because of my bias for hockey, but because of all the classic lines/moments that are featured throughout the whole show. "Beat up Martin" being translated to "Eat up Martha," "Hack the bone!" Homer flicking the lights on and off over and over again saying "Fight! Fight! Fight!" "Me fail English, that's unpossible!" And who can forget Üter being chased around the locker room while Homer smacks him with a wet towel? "Don't make me run, I'm full of chocolate!" is still a phrase that I continue to use in my everyday vernacular.
7 "!traB pu kciP"
"Milhouse! What have we told you about writing on the walls?! Go to your room!" In this episode that very briefly mentions sports, Homer is repeatedly told by Marge to pick up Bart from soccer practice, but he's too busy watching Wheel of Fortune and answers the puzzle with "I'm on my way!" Bart starts to worry about the rain and Homer forgetting about him entirely, so he tries to telepathically send a message of "Pick up Bart! Pick up Bart!" His message works, but it's Milhouse who gets his mind controlled, writing the message backwards in marker all over the Van Houten's walls.
6 Hungry, Hungry Homer
Homer goes on a hunger strike after he learns that the Springfield Isotopes baseball team is planning on moving to Albuquerque. While that isn't all that hilarious, the Isotopes' plan of replacing a hungry Homer in the crowd with a man who promises to drink a bucket of paint, only to pass out and start convulsively twitching certainly adds some humor. Homer proves to be successful in his plot to uncover the truth by proving that the hot dog he was offered was topped with southwestern ingredients, and was actually wrapped in an Albuquerque Isotopes wrapper. Two things worth mentioning, a real-life minor league baseball team is named the Albuquerque Isotopes in honor of this episode, and the word "meh" is made popular, which is also one of my most used words in daily language.
5 "That was our only ball."
Lisa's spiky hair pops the only volleyball Springfield owned, which forces them to forfeit the entire season. This is actually a separate moment featured in the episode "Lisa on Ice" when she's desperately attempting to find a sport that she's actually good at (to raise her gym class grade), but it was too good to simply lump in with the rest of the previous recap. When the ball pops and the teacher explains, "Children, that was our only ball. There will be no team this year..." all the children sigh together, and we, the audience, collectively laugh at how ridiculous that is.
4 Team Homer
Otherwise known as the Pin Pals episode, Homer, Apu, Otto, and Moe start a bowling team together with the aforementioned play-on-words team name. In order to pay for the deposit, Homer asks Mr. Burns if he can put up the money for them, which he only agrees to because he was hallucinating at the time and confused Homer with the Pillsbury Doughboy. Burns then joins the team once he realizes that he put up all the money, making Otto the odd-man out. Otto then tries to win two specific items from the claw machine: a degree from Harvard, and a lobster harmonica, the latter of which causes the machine to break in the process and fall to the ground, shaking the bowling alley enough to win the championship for his old team. Hilarious moments: Moe attempting to break Burns' leg à la the Nancy Kerrigan/Tanya Harding scandal, Burns' hand flapping weightlessly in the ball return fan, and Homer describing how the team they bowled the previous night were the suckiest bunch of sucks who ever sucked.
3 Marge Be Not Proud
Not a sports episode, you say? This episode features the classic "Lee Carvallo's Putting Challenge" scene at the very end of the episode after Bart received that gift from Marge instead of what he really wanted for Christmas: Bone Storm. The entire in-game dialogue of Lee Carvallo's Putting Challenge is classic: "Welcome to Lee Carvallo's putting challenge. I am Carvallo. Now chose a club: You have chosen a 3 wood. May I suggest a putter? 3 wood. Now enter the force of your swing, I suggest: feather touch. You have entered: power drive! Now push '787' to swing. Ball is in: parking lot. Would you like to play again? You have selected: No."
2 Homer at the Bat
All time classic episode about Homer's company softball team and his special "wonder bat." After Homer hits a grand slam and becomes a hero, Mr. Burns chooses to take the company softball league a little more seriously, so he enlists new ringers, er, plant workers... Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens, Darryl Strawberry, Mike Scioscia, Don Mattingly, Jose Canseco, Steve Sax, Ozzie Smith, and Ken Griffey, Jr. Hilarious moments: "SHAVE THOSE SIDEBURNS, MATTINGLY!" "Are you Darryl Strawberry?" - Yes. "Do you play right field?" - Yes. "I play right field, too. Are you better than me?" - Well, I've never met you before, but, yes..."
2. The Twisted World of Marge Simpson
Marge makes an attempt to boost her poor pretzel sales by offering free pretzels at an Isotopes game, but things go awry after C. Montgomery Burns wins a raffle ticket giveaway for a free 1997 Pontiac Astrowagon. Burns starts to drive off in the car so the crowd turns to throwing their free pretzels onto the field in disgust. "And here come the pretzels!" "Hall of Famer Whitey Ford now on the field, pleading with the crowd for... for some kind of sanity!" But the barrage of pretzels was too much, knocking Whitey unconscious. "Wow, this is, uh... this is a black day for baseball." Absolute classic!
1 The Homer They Fall
"Homer's no boxer, Tatum will fustigate him." "Well, fustigation aside, Moe." Tatum claiming that he'll make orphans of his children, only to find out that they have a mother, to which is response is "Yes, but I believe that she would die of grief." There are too many to list them all, but this episode is nearly perfect from start to finish. The fact that Moe turned the ladies bathroom into his personal office because they haven't had a woman in his tavern since 1979 is enough reason to consider this episode a classic. Homer ends up being saved by Moe during the match versus Tatum via the fan machine, which is an obvious reference to the famous incident that happened during the fight between Riddick Bowe and Evander Holyfield when a "fan man" interrupted the fight for a full 20 minutes after he landed in the ring ropes and was physically assaulted by fight-goers prior to his arrest.
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