Mmm, sacrilicious!

So it seems The Simpsons — the show that FOX executives will cite as they plead with Satan to be spared from hellfire — has been renewed for two more seasons. One more renewal, and The Simpsons will become the longest-running primetime TV series in history.

The Simpsons is one of the few examples of something that’s known to everyone, even though it profoundly deserves to be. (The other examples that spring to mind are Shakespeare, Einstein, and the Internet.) To call it the best TV show of all time is like calling Huck Finn the best adventure novel set on the Mississippi. The Simpsons is what justifies the existence of television as a medium.

(I read a wonderful story about this in William Poundstone’s biography of Carl Sagan. Apparently Sagan disapproved of his teenage daughter watching The Simpsons, seeing the show as a symptom of the educational decline that he’d been fighting in his books and speeches. His daughter challenged him: “You say reason and empiricism are so important, so how can you condemn The Simpsons without ever having watched it?” Shamed, Sagan agreed to watch an episode. He quickly became a fan, and watched it regularly in his last years of life.)

Of course, like Einstein in his Princeton period, The Simpsons has lost much of its power with age. In my opinion, both South Park and the much-mourned Futurama surpassed The Simpsons years ago in terms of vrc/s (viewer ribcage convulsions per second). But that’s hardly a discredit to the mighty trunk of which South Park and Futurama are the branches.

Popular perception of The Simpsons underwent an interesting evolution. For the first few seasons, everyone seemed to think the show was “about” Bart: the proud underachiever, scandalizing parents by telling them to eat his shorts. (Man, I feel like a fogey.) By the mid-90’s that was already history, the focus having shifted to Homer: the fat, beer-swilling symbol of America itself.

But the longer I watched, the clearer it became to me that the central character is Lisa. Dan Castallaneta, who does Homer’s voice, also does Grandpa, Groundskeeper Willy, Barney, Krusty, and several others. Nancy Cartwright, who does Bart, also does Nelson, Ralph Wiggum, and Todd Flanders. But Yeardley Smith, who does Lisa, only does Lisa. Born into a world of cartoon yellow doofuses, Lisa is the solitary champion of reason and principle — even if she is tempted to abandon her principles for a pony. In a cacophony of hundreds of voices, hers is the only soliloquy.

But the simplest proof of The Simpsons’ Shakesperian greatness is the number of secondary characters who are richer, more vivid, than the lead characters of all but the very best novels. Mr. Burns. Smithers. Apu. Skinner. Mrs. Krabappel. Flanders. Uncle Herb. Abe. Patty and Selma. Moe. Barney. Artie Ziff. Nelson. Krusty. Sideshow Bob. Every one of them has a story, what literary types might call “interiority.” Every one, for better or worse, will be seared in my memory for as long as I live.

Come to think of it, that’s probably even true of the ones who don’t have much interiority: Comic Book Guy, Frink, Duff Man, the Sea Captain, Disco Stu, Cletus, Kang and Kodos…

But enough of this. It’s time for the hard (but necessary) part of the post: my personal selection of Simpsons moments. If you have work to do, I advise you to stop reading right now.

Still with me? Yeah, I thought so.

Homer: The Internet? Is that thing still around?

Lisa: What is the sound of one hand clapping?
Bart: Piece of cake. [claps his fingers against his palm]

Lisa: If a tree falls in the woods and no one’s around, does it make a sound?
Bart: Absolutely! “Eeeewww-PLUNK!”

Selma: Oh, we promise we won’t tell [that Marge is pregnant].
[Back at their apartment, Patty and Selma open the phone book to the first page.]
Patty: [dials] Hello, is this A. Aaronson? It might interest you to know that Marge Simpson is pregnant again.
[Flash forward...]
Patty: Just thought you’d like to know, Mr. Zykowski. [hangs up, sighs] There. Aaronson and Zykowski are the two biggest gossips in town. In an hour, everyone will know.

Can you name the truck with four wheel drive,
Smells like a steak, and seats thirty five?
Canyonero! Canyonero!
Well, it goes real slow with the hammer down
It’s the country-fried truck endorsed by a clown
Canyonero! Canyonero!
Hey, hey!
Twelve yards long, two lanes wide,
Sixty five tons of American pride!
Canyonero! Canyonero!
Top of the line in utility sports,
Unexplained fires are a matter for the courts!
Canyonero! Canyonero!
She blinds everybody with her super high beams
She’s a squirrel-squashin’, deer-smackin’ drivin’ machine
Canyonero! Canyonero! Canyonero!
Whoa, Canyonero! Whoa!

Talking toilet in Japan: Welcome! I am honored to accept your wastes.

Bart: And I think I’ve finally found what I was put on this earth to do — knife goes in, guts come out, knife goes in, guts come out… [pulls out a talking fish]
Fish: Spare my life and I will grant you three —
Bart: [guts the talking fish] Knife goes in, guts come out.

Chinese Dragons: [singing in falsetto voices] American jerks are going home… Now we sleep for a thousand years… When we wake the world will end…

“USA A-OK,” the award-winning speech by Trong Van Din:
When my family arrived in this country four months ago, we spoke no English and had no money in our pockets. Today, we own a nationwide chain of wheel-balancing centers. Where else but in America, or possibly Canada, could our family find such opportunity? That’s why, whenever I see the Stars and Stripes, I will always be reminded of that wonderful word: flag!

Bart and Greta watch Itchy & Scratchy on DVD. They then go to the bonus features, and choose the running audio commentary. Scratchy starts to discuss the filming of the episode, but then Itchy slices his head off within the commentary box

Homer: Marge, anyone could miss Canada, all tucked away down there.

Campaign commercial for Sideshow Bob:
[scene shows prisoners going in and out a revolving door]
Voice: Mayor Quimby supports revolving door prisons. Mayor Quimby even released Sideshow Bob — a man twice convicted of attempted murder. Can you trust a man like Mayor Quimby? Vote Sideshow Bob for mayor.

Skinner: [on the phone] I know Weinstein’s parents were upset, uh, superintendent, but, but — but I was sure it was a phony excuse. I mean, it sounds so made up: “Yahm Kip-Pur”?

On a ship in international waters, a man wearing a tuxedo is shown marrying a cow. The cow then smashes a glass with its hoof (in keeping with Jewish wedding tradition).

[Homer is being attacked by a mobster]
Mark Hamill (aka Luke Skywalker): Homer! Use the for…
Homer: The Force?
Hamill: The forks! Use the forks!
[Homer jabs his assailant with a fork]

[At Sideshow Bob's parole hearing]
Lawyer: But what about that tattoo on your chest? Doesn’t it say “Die Bart, Die?”
Bob: No, that’s German for “The Bart, The.”
[The spectators laugh, understanding]
Mrs. Lovejoy: No one who speaks German could be an evil man!

Lisa: Dad, as intelligence goes up, happiness often goes down. In fact, I made a graph. [She holds up a concave decreasing graph on axes marked "intelligence" and "happiness"]
Lisa: [sadly] I make a lot of graphs.

Marge: Homer, that’s not God. That’s just a waffle that Bart tossed up there.
[Marge scrapes it off into Homer's hands]
Homer: I know I shouldn’t eat thee, but — [bites] Mmm, sacrilicious!

Lisa: Well, where’s my dad?
Frink: Well, it should be obvious to even the most dimwitted individual who holds an advanced degree in hyperbolic topology, n’gee, that Homer Simpson has stumbled into…[the lights go off] the third dimension.
Lisa: [flips the light switch back] Sorry.
Frink: [drawing on a blackboard] Here is an ordinary square….
Wiggum: Whoa, whoa – slow down, egghead!
Frink: … but suppose we extend the square beyond the two dimensions of our universe, along the hypothetical z-axis, there.
Everyone: [gasps]
Frink: This forms a three-dimensional object known as a “cube,” or a “Frinkahedron” in honor of its discoverer, n’hey, n’hey.

[Lisa wonders why a bully attacks only nerds]
Lisa: Why does she only go after the smart ones?
Nelson: That’s like asking the square root of a million! No one will ever know.

Krusty: [asked to say grace at dinner] Baruch atah adonai, eloheinu melech ha’olam, hamotzi lechem min ha’aretz.
Homer: Hee hee hee hee hee! He’s talking funny-talk!
Lisa: No Dad, that’s Hebrew! Krusty must be Jewish.
Homer: A Jewish entertainer? Get out of here!

Principal Skinner: Do you kids want to be like the real UN, or do you want to squabble and waste time?

Bruno the Australian: This is an outrage! I’m going to take this all the way to the Prime Minister! [Yells out window] Hey Mr. Prime Minister! Andy!

Scientist: This can’t be right. This man has 104% body fat! [turns to Homer] Hey, no eating in the tank!
Homer: [eating a chicken drumstick] Go to hell.

Frink: You’ve got to listen to me. Elementary chaos theory tells us that all robots will eventually turn against their masters and run amok in an orgy of blood and kicking and the biting with the metal teeth and the hurting and shoving.
Repairman: How much time do we have, professor?
Frink [checks clipboard]: Well, according to my calculations, the robots won’t go berserk for at least 24 hours.
[A robot grabs a man by the throat]
Oh, I forgot to, er, carry the one.

Homer [at Renaissance Fair]: I’ve eaten eight different meats. I’m a true renaissance man!

Fortune Teller to Lisa: [concentrating] It’s coming to me…yes, I see an eastern university in the year 2010. The world has become a very different place.
[in the future, a line of robots clatters past]
[they walk past a sign saying "Wizard of Oz auditions today"]
[these are followed by a scarecrow and a lion]

At the rigged spelling bee:
George: Okay, your word is “whether.”
Girl: Um, which one? Could you use it in a sentence?
George: Certainly. “I don’t know whether the weather will improve.”

Homer: Your old meat made me sick!
Apu: Oh, I’m so sorry. [gets a pail of shrimp] Please accept five pounds of frozen shrimp.
Homer: [holds one up, sniffs it] This shrimp isn’t frozen! And it smells funny.
Apu: OK, ten pounds.
Homer: Woo hoo!

Bob: You wanted to be Krusty’s sidekick since you were five! What about the buffoon lessons? The four years at Clown College?
Cecil: I’ll thank you not to refer to Princeton that way.

Burns: Well, did you meet Larry?
Man from Yale: Oh, yes. He made light of my weight problem, then suggested my motto be “semper fudge.” At that point, he told me to [making quotes with fingers] relax.
Burns: How were his test scores?
Woman from Yale: Let’s just say this: he spelled “Yale” with a six.
Burns: I see. Well, I — ooh, you know, I just remembered, it’s time for my annual donation. [brings out checkbook and pen] I wonder how much I should give.
Man: Well, frankly, test scores like Larry’s would call for a very generous contribution. [opens book] For example, a score of 400 would require a donation of new football uniforms, 300, a new dormitory, and in Larry’s case, we would need an international airport.
Woman: Yale could use an international airport, Mr. Burns.

Mrs. Krabappel: Now whose calculator can tell me what 7 times 8 is?
Milhouse: Oh! Oh! Oh! “Low battery?”

Nelson: Psst, Lisa! Check it out. [He shows her a piece of paper.] Tomorrow’s fraction’s quiz: I’ll give you the numerators free, but the denominators are gonna cost you.
Lisa: I don’t want your dirty denominators!

Prof. Frink: Scientists … Scientists, please! I’m looking for some order. Some order, please, with the eyes forward and the hands neatly folded and the paying of attention. Pi is exactly three!
[crowd gasps]
Frink: Very sorry that it had to come to that, but now that I have your attention, we have some exciting new research from young Lisa Simpson.

Adil: How can you defend a country where five percent of the people control ninety-five percent of the wealth?
Lisa: I’m defending a country where people can think and act and worship any way they want.
Adil: Cannot!
Lisa: Can too!
Adil: Cannot!
Lisa: Can too!
Homer: Please, please, kids, stop fighting. Maybe Lisa’s right about America being the land of opportunity, and maybe Adil’s got a point about the machinery of capitalism being oiled with the blood of the workers.

Bart says Krusty couldn’t have committed a robbery, since he’s illiterate, but the videotape shows the culprit picking up the Springfield Review of Books.
Sideshow Bob: The fact is, you don’t have to be able to read to enjoy the Springfield Review of Books. Just look at these amusing caricatures of Gore Vidal and Susan Sontag!

Skinner: We can buy real periodic tables instead of these promotional ones from Oscar Meyer.
Krabappel: Who can tell me the atomic weight of bolognium?
Martin: Ooh … delicious?
Krabappel: Correct. I would also accept snacktacular.

Lisa: A rose by any other name smells as sweet.
Bart: Not if you call them stench blossoms.

Grandpa: My Homer is not a communist. He may be a liar, a pig, an idiot, a communist, but he is not a porn star.

Scully: Homer, we’re going to ask you a few simple yes or no questions. Do you understand?
Homer: Yes. [lie dectector explodes]

Homer: Got any of that beer that has candy floating in it? You know, Skittlebrau?
Apu: Such a beer does not exist, sir. I think you must have dreamed it.
Homer: Oh. Well, then just give me a six-pack and a couple of bags of Skittles.

Homer: Oh, so they have the Internet on computers now?

Marge: I really think this is a bad idea.
Homer: Marge, I agree with you — in theory. In theory, communism works. In theory.

Mr. Burns: What good is money if it can’t inspire terror in your fellow man?

Bart: Christmas is a time when people of all religions come together to worship Jesus Christ.

Homer: [stuffing his face] Stop being such babies. You can’t be afraid to try new things. For instance, tonight I’m using a … Apu, what do you call this thing again?
Apu: A “napkin.”
Homer: Ha ha ha ha! Outrageous!

Skinner: Our next budget item: $12 for doorknob repair.
Parents: Nay!
[Groundskeeper Willy, who is on fire, tries to escape, but the doorknob falls off]
Skinner: Recharge fire extinguishers? Now, this is a, uh, free service of the fire department —
Parents: Nay!
[Willy tries to use the fire extinguisher, but it's empty]
[Still engulfed in flames, he breaks out and runs into the classroom]
Willy: Help! Please help me!
Skinner: Willy, please! Mr. Van Houten has the floor.

Lisa: I like you too, Milhouse, but not in that way. You’re like a big sister.
Milhouse: No, I’m not! Why does everybody keep saying that?
Lisa: Would you do me a favor? When you get back to class, just give him this note … please?
Milhouse: [thinking] When she sees you’ll do anything she says, she’s bound to respect you!

Bart: Can you give us the rabbi’s address?
Reverend Lovejoy: Oh, sure thing. Let me just check my non-Christian rolodex…

Dolph: Oh, man! You kissed a girl!
Jimbo: That is so gay!

Jimbo: [sings] Gonna dig me a hole…
Dolph & Kearney: Gonna dig me a hole…
Jimbo: Gonna put a nerd in it…
Dolph & Kearney: Gonna put a nerd in it…

Lisa: Dad, it’s not fair to claim this thing’s an angel. There’s no proof of that.
Homer: No one’s calling it an angel, Lisa. If you look carefully I never once used the word angel.
Lisa: What’s that sign over there? [It says "Angel" in big letters.]
Homer: That’s a typo.

32 Responses to “Mmm, sacrilicious!”

  1. William Kaminsky Says:

    What of this great line of Jimbo’s?

    “Videotaping this crime spree is the best idea we ever had!”

  2. Scott Says:

    Yeah — I forgot to mention, but feel free to post your own favorite lines.

  3. Greg Pfeil Says:

    Far from it … Meet the Press has been running for 55 years (nearing 3,000 episodes).

    Simpsons does rank as the longest running sitcom (in the US) now, but there are plenty of hurdles to pass before it outstrips news shows and daytime drama. Here’s the first site I found mentioning more than just Meet the Press: http://www.faqfarm.com/Q/What_is_the_longest_running_TV_show

  4. Scott Says:

    Greg: Thanks for the correction! I read that The Simpsons was set to break the 20-year record of CBS’ Gunsmoke — what category do you suppose that is?

  5. gregv Says:

    It’s true about the side characters, Disco Stu and Duffman are two of my favorites:

    (Homer is sewing rhinestones onto a jacket to say “disco stud”, but runs out of room before the “d” – cut to the garage sale)
    Someone: Hey Disco Stu, this jacket would be perfect for you
    Disco Stu: Disco Stu doesn’t advertise

    (At a dance that people have been paid to attend)
    DS: Disco Stu is working pro bono

    And a Duffman fave.
    Judge: Next case: Duff Man versus Duff Brewing Corporation.
    Duffman: Duffman’s pension has been mismanaged! Oooh yeah!
    Lawyer: Objection, that party-hardy additude is a registered trademark of the Duff Corporation.
    Duffman: Whatever happened to fair-use. Oh!

  6. gregv Says:

    Oh, and what is your opinion on “Family Guy”? Another rip-off, or a perfection of the comedy of misdirection?

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Comic Store Guy
    He’s usually called: Comic *book* guy

    Anyway, great post, as usual.

    — A huge Simpsons fan.

  8. Ankit Says:

    One of my favourites:

    Kent Brockman: We’re just about to get our first pictures from inside the spacecraft with “average-naut” Homer Simpson, and we’d like to — aah!
    [Camera shows a close-up of an ant floating in front of the three astronauts]
    Everyone: Aah!
    Kent Brockman: Ladies and gentlemen, er, we’ve just lost the picture, but, uh, what we’ve seen speaks for itself. The Corvair spacecraft has been taken over — “conquered”, if you will — by a master race of giant space ants. It’s difficult to tell from this vantage point whether they will consume the captive earth men or merely enslave them. One thing is for certain, there is no stopping them; the ants will soon be here.
    And I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords. I’d like to remind them that as a trusted TV personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar caves.
    Marge: Mmm, don’t worry, kids. I’m sure your father’s all right.

  9. Jud Says:

    The “Fugu” episode, in which Homer believes he’s going to die from blowfish sushi prepared incorrectly, so he gives Bart the 3 responses that will get him through any situation in life. I only remember the one below, anyone got the other 2?

    “It was that way when I got here.”

  10. Alejandro Says:

    The whole Skinner and Chalmers sharing lunch scene. The “steamed clams-steamed hams” bit is great, but the climax is the Aurora Borealis lines:

    Skinner: [faking a yawn] Well, that was wonderful. Good time was had by all. I’m pooped.
    Chalmers: Yes, I guess I should be — [notes entire kitchen is on fire] Good Lord, what is happening in there?
    Skinner: Aurora Borealis?
    Chalmers: Aurora Borealis? At this time of year? A this time of day? In this part of the country? Localized entirely within your kitchen?
    Skinner: Yes.
    Chalmers: May I see it?
    Skinner: Oh, erm… No.

    Agnes: [offscreen] Seymour! The house is on fire!
    Skinner: No, mother. It’s just the Northern Lights.
    Chalmers: Well, Seymour, you are an odd fellow, but I must say you steam a good ham.
    [Chalmers walks off. He looks back at Skinner, who flashes him the "thumbs-up" sign]
    Agnes: Help! Help!

  11. Sam C Says:

    That ‘The Simpsons’ has run so long seems to me to be of little account, for while the first few series were brilliant most aren’t funny.

    Off the top of my head…
    Jimbo: Shoplifting is a victimless crime; like punching someone in the dark.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    I was in 5th grade when it started. Now I’m in my third year of a Ph.D. program. I’ve been watching regularly for at least 13 years.

    I think the record Gunsmoke holds is longest-running primetime show.

  13. Scott Says:

    Oh, and what is your opinion on “Family Guy”?

    The few times I watched it, I didn’t find it even in the same league as Simpsons / South Park / Futurama (my holy trinity).

  14. Scott Says:

    I think the record Gunsmoke holds is longest-running primetime show.

    OK, thanks!

  15. Anonymous Says:

    Did I say corpse hatch? I meant innocence tube!

  16. Scott Says:

    Comic Store Guy
    He’s usually called: Comic *book* guy

    Thanks — fixed! (Clearly I haven’t spent enough time on fan message boards…)

  17. ezra Says:

    Comic Book Guy certainly has his own inner life.

    Consider this moment: Homer, running wild at some athletic event, knocks over a port-o-potty and runs off. Inside the port-o-potty, still seated with his pants around his ankles, is the Comic Book Guy, reading. He is unphased.

    Comic Book Guy: Rats. Now I will have to find a new fortress of solitude.

  18. Derek Says:

    This is all good stuff, but I can’t believe that Scorpio and Grimey are not represented! The two best episodes on my top 50 list, I would say.

  19. Anonymous Says:

    Fantastic! Finally a post that even I can understand.

    I am not a computer scientist or math major so am not able to grasp many of your posts – this one is a gem. Keep them coming.

  20. Dave Bacon Says:

    Ned Flanders: “Science is like a blabbermouth who ruins a movie by tell you how it ends. There are some things we don’t want to know. Important things.”

    Then, of course, there is, perhaps the best encapsilation of American voter feelings ever seen in a cartoon:

    Announcer: Ladies and Gentlemen, 73-year-old candidate, Bob Dole.
    Kang [posing as Dole]: Abortions for all.
    [crowd boos]
    Very well, no abortions for anyone.
    [crowd boos]
    Hmm… Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others.
    [crowd cheers and wave miniature American flags]

    Followed, of course, by the best encapsilation of American politicians:

    Kodos[posing as Clinton]: My fellow Americans. As a young boy, I dreamed of being a baseball, but tonight I say, we must move forward, not backward, upward not forward,
    and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom.

    Boy I could go on for ever, I think.

    Oh, and by the way, comic book guy told me to tell you: “Worst post ever”

  21. Anonymous Says:

    Okay, someone has to step in and stick up for the Family Guy, which I believe to be an even finer show than South Park. Come on, Carl, give the Family Guy a chance. How many Simpsons episodes did you have to watch back in the day before you realised its greatness?

    Also, I would like to add my name to the list of those whose life is less than whole after the cancellation of Futurama.

    Another good Simpson’s quote:

    Homer: Woohoo! I won’t need my highschool diploma anymore!
    [lights his diploma on fire]
    [sings "I am so smart! S-M-R-T!" while his house burns to the ground around him]

    Gus

  22. Anonymous Says:

    Fantastic! Finally a post that even I can understand.

    I am not a computer scientist or math major so am not able to grasp many of your posts – this one is a gem. Keep them coming.

    No offense, but maybe you’re reading the wrong blog? Trying to turn a blog mainly about computational complexity into one about tv shows because you have a better understanding of the latter is a little… bizarre.

    I like a dose of Simpsons quotes every now and then too, but let’s get back to NEEXP, NIQSZK and NPSV-sel and all the other things that make life worth living as soon as possible, eh? Scott’s blog is one of the few both readable and regularly updated blogs in this field.

  23. Scott Says:

    Come on, Carl, give the Family Guy a chance.

    Gus: Err, did you mean Scott? :-)

  24. Scott Says:

    Fantastic! Finally a post that even I can understand.

    I am not a computer scientist or math major so am not able to grasp many of your posts – this one is a gem. Keep them coming.

    No offense, but maybe you’re reading the wrong blog? Trying to turn a blog mainly about computational complexity into one about tv shows because you have a better understanding of the latter is a little… bizarre.

    The irony here is that very few of my posts have been about computational complexity, and not one has been what I would consider “technical.” For me, The Simpsons, the cosmic background radiation, and the Busy Beaver function all serve the same function: helping me procrastinate from real work.

  25. Ijon Tichy Says:

    I prefer The Simpsons to South Park and Futurama. The comedy in The Simpsons just seems more broader and truer (“it’s funny ’cause it’s true”) to me than the satire of South Park and the puns of Futurama. Of course there is no accounting for taste.

    I like nearly all the characters but Mr Burns cracks me up.

    “Listen, Spielbergo. Schindler and I are like peas in a pod! We’re both factory owners. We both made shells for the Nazis, but mine worked, damn it! Now, go out there and win me that festival.”

    “Raise your right hock. Aerate! Raise your left hock. Aerate! I want to see more Teddy Roosevelts and less Franklin Roosevelts.”

    “Smithers, you infernal ninny! Stick you left hoof on that flange now! Now if you can get it through you bug-addled brain, jam that second mephitic clodhopper of yours on the right doodad! Now pump those scrawny chicken legs, you stuporous funker!”

    “Oh, so Mother Nature needs a favour? Well, maybe she should have thought of that when she was besetting us with droughts and floods and poison monkeys. Nature started the fight for survival and she wants to quit because she’s losing? Well, I say hard cheese!”

    * * *

    Mr.Burns: (To Homer) One more thing…you must find the jade monkey before the next full moon!
    Smithers: Actually sir, we found the jade monkey. It was in your glove compartment.
    Mr.Burns: And the road maps, and the driving gloves?!
    Smithers: Yes, sir.
    Mr.Burns:Then it’s all falling into place!

    * * *

    Mr.Burns: Smithers, I’ve designed a new plane. I call it the “Spruce Moose”, and it will carry two hundred passengers from New York’s Idyllwild Airport to the Belgian Congo in seventeen minutes!
    Smithers: That’s quite a nice model, sir.
    Mr.Burns: Model?

  26. Anonymous Says:

    Scott: “… how can you condemn The Simpsons without ever having watched it?” Shamed, Sagan agreed to watch an episode. He quickly became a fan, and watched it regularly in his last years of life.

    gregv: Oh, and what is your opinion on “Family Guy”?

    Scott: The few times I watched it, I didn’t find it even in the same league as Simpsons / South Park / Futurama (my holy trinity).

    Gus: Come on, Carl, give the Family Guy a chance. How many Simpsons episodes did you have to watch back in the day before you realised its greatness?

    Scott again: Gus: Err, did you mean Scott? :-)

    Just a little joke there, Scott. I’m not sure if it’s comforting or scary that you catch my jokes just about as well as I catch yours. ;-)

    Gus

  27. Anonymous Says:

    The irony here is that very few of my posts have been about computational complexity, and not one has been what I would consider “technical.” For me, The Simpsons, the cosmic background radiation, and the Busy Beaver function all serve the same function: helping me procrastinate from real work.

    Maybe so, but I’m sure you got my point anyway.

  28. Candide's Notebooks Says:

    Great post. Will be one of two featured posts in Wednesday’s edition of Best of Blogs segment at Candide’s Notebooks.pt

  29. Miss HT Psych Says:

    Great quote! Here’s a few of my fav’s:

    Marge: I’m worried about the kids, Homey. Lisa’s becoming very obsessive. This morning I caught her trying to dissect her own raincoat.
    Homer: [scoffs] I know. And this perpetual motion machine she made today is a joke! It just keeps going faster and faster.
    Marge: And Bart isn’t doing very well either. He needs boundaries and structure. There’s something about flying a kite at night that’s so unwholesome. [looks out window]
    Bart: [creepy voice] Hello, Mother dear.
    Marge: [closing the curtains] That’s it! We have to get them back to school.
    Homer: I’m with you, Marge. Lisa! Get in here!
    [Lisa walks in]
    Homer: In this house, we obey the laws of thermodynamics!

    *****

    Bronson look-alike child: Hey Ma! How ’bout some cookies?
    Bronson look-alike mother: No dice!
    Bronson look-alike child: This ain’t ovah.

  30. Anonymous Says:

    At last the Simpsons movie will become reality!

  31. Johan Says:

    Lets not forget the Best.Slogans.Ever:

    “5,6,7,8 Homer’s crime was very great. Great meaning large or immense, we use it in its perjojative sense.”

    “If a tree falls in the forest will you make a sound? Yes”

  32. Anonymous Says:

    Don’t know if you noticed, but when Skinner scolds the U.N. for squabbling, he’s pounding his shoe on the table, a la Kruschev.