10 Best Sports Episodes of ‘The Simpsons,’ Ranked

The Simpsons‘ greatest efforts at telling tales about well-liked sports activities rival what many think about the best episodes of the series, in each method that counts. One of many many, many the explanation why The Simpsons is one in every of the greatest adult animated series is as a result of it was in a position to make enjoyable of each side of American society. Sports activities are integral to the nationwide id, in order that they’re repeatedly focused within the present.

Parodies of actual folks, legendary cameos, and satirical components abound; however The Simpsons additionally skillfully infuses the suspense, emotional battle, and sudden twists that an thrilling recreation of soccer or baseball might need. Merely put, the episodes that revolve round sports activities each make enjoyable of and draw stress from their important occasions.

The Simpsons

Launch Date
December 17, 1989

Major Style


10 “Saturdays of Thunder”

Season 3, Episode 9

Bart and Homer standing with their makeshift chariot in The Simpsons
Picture by way of Fox

In “Saturdays of Thunder,” Bart decides to construct himself a cleaning soap field derby racer within the storage. Within the meantime, Homer will get hauled away to the Nationwide Fatherhood Institute, the place the man in cost suggests he assist Bart out together with his race automotive, to allow them to bond extra. However Homer is not any good at constructing issues, so Lil’ Lightnin’ seems to be terrible. The primary race shows how Nelson’s death-mobile and whip fare towards Martin’s extraordinarily quick car. The next crash is humorous, too.

Martin’s stress fracture leaves him out of the finals, so he lends his racer to Bart (they each simply need Nelson to lose). Bart wants his father’s help, although, which Homer is reluctant to offer. However when he sees his father within the stands, Bart as soon as once more possesses the drive (pun supposed) to win the race. Because the announcer signifies, the following duel is sort of a chariot race out of Ben-Hur, and his victory comes with a priceless lesson about father-son bonding.

9 “The Homer They Fall”

Season 8, Episode 3

Moe wearing a blue shirt with a bowtie in The Simpsons
Picture by way of Fox

In “The Homer They Fall,” Homer takes a beating by three guys who however do not knock him down. Impressed, Moe provides to be Homer’s boxing supervisor for a totally-fair sixty-percent minimize of the earnings. Dr. Hibbert diagnoses him with the uncommon Homer Simpson Syndrome (“Why me?”), which provides his mind an irregular quantity of safety. So the sport plan is straightforward: stand nonetheless, and let the opposite boxer punch himself out. It is mainly the premise of Rocky III‘s last struggle, and it is hilarious each time.

It really works so effectively that Moe ultimately will get pressured into letting Homer struggle Drederick Tatum, an intimidating Mike Tyson parody who simply received out of jail for pushing his personal mom down the steps. Moe feels responsible about it from the beginning, however the cash is just too tempting. With Why Cannot We Be Buddies? as his theme track, Homer may not survive the anticipated three rounds. Moe does the correct factor ultimately, and in spectacular vogue. Additional factors for the tip credit score pictures of an airborne Moe doing good deeds around the globe.

8 “Bart Star”

Season 9, Episode 6

Milhouse Van Houten being yelled at by a coach and doctor in The Simpsons
Picture by way of Fox

In “Bart Star,” Homer indicators his son up for Pee Wee soccer to get him in form. With Flanders because the coach and Nelson as quarterback, the workforce is unstoppable. Sadly, Homer heckles Flanders to the purpose the place Flanders quits. Now that he is in cost, Homer proceeds to chop a comical variety of gamers and make Bart quarterback. Let the hostility start.

Bart’s first recreation is a catastrophe, making everybody on the workforce hate him. The most effective scenes is when Bart asks Corridor of Famer Joe Namath for recommendation. Joe tells him there’s just one factor he must know, however leaves earlier than saying what that’s. After Bart quits, Homer learns his mistake in valuing his little one over others (one thing so many dad and mom do in sports activities). Bart does wind up serving to the workforce win the ultimate recreation, although, emphasizing how everybody ought to play to their strengths. Additionally, “Bart Star” options some of the distinctive finish credit in The Simpsons canon, as Homer tells each title that pops up that they are minimize from the workforce.

7 “Life within the Quick Lane”

Season 1, Episode 9

Marge dances with Jacques in The Simpsons
Picture by way of Fox

Lust and sports activities mingle on this Season 1 strike of an episode, “Life within the Quick Lane.” Homer selfishly will get his spouse a bowling ball for her birthday, anticipating her to only let him have it. Effectively, Marge has a knack for protesting in sudden and surprisingly efficient methods. To spite Homer, she decides to maintain the ball and apply with it at Barney’s Bowlarama. She winds up getting classes from Jacques, who clearly desires to be extra than simply her trainer.

One memorable lesson consists of them getting on their knees and caressing the lane, so easy “you possibly can eat off of it.” Marge is often very forgiving of Homer, however the thrill of bowling and getting consideration from somebody who really buys her one thing she desires tempts her to cheat. There isn’t any sports-related climax, however bowling is undoubtedly the catalyst of the episode’s battle and rolls it in direction of a humorous, heartwarming, and victorious finish.

6 “Homer vs. Lisa and the eighth Commandment”

Season 2, Episode 13

Drederick and Lucius in the ring in The Simpsons
Picture by way of Fox

Dwell from Las Vegas, The Bout to Knock the Different Man Out between Watson and Tatum will air reside Friday night time—”and this time it is for cash.” Because it’s solely on The Blockbuster Channel, Homer will likely be utilizing his unlawful cable connection to host a watch celebration. Season 2’s “Homer vs. Lisa and the eighth Commandment” does a wonderful job of parodying boxing promotional occasions, as when each fighters dedicate their match to the identical man and get right into a scrap over it.

Everyone comes to observe the struggle: Lenny, Barney, Moe, and Mr. Burns to call a couple of. Even two policemen present up. Lisa makes Homer really feel responsible about stealing cable, nonetheless, so he leaves earlier than the struggle begins. Although the viewers does not get to see any of the motion, the episode splendidly portrays how the camaraderie of a extremely anticipated sports activities occasion can carry folks of various courses and distinctions collectively. (However stealing continues to be incorrect, after all.)

5 “Dancin’ Homer”

Season 2, Episode 5

Homer in his underwear in The Simpsons episode Homer the Heretic
Picture by way of Fox

“Dancin’ Homer” has a construction not often used all through the collection’ historical past. It is instructed on reflection, as Homer takes the position of a man sitting on the bar and telling his pals the story of when he was a giant shot as soon as. He was once a mascot for Springfield’s native baseball workforce, dancing poorly on high of the dugout with all of the followers cheering. Finally, he will get despatched to Capital Metropolis’s workforce, which led to a welcome Tony Bennett cameo and Homer’s subsequent failure to make it within the majors.

That includes a really ahead autograph, a jumbo-tron embarrassment, numerous heckling, an iconic 26-minute efficiency of the Nationwide Anthem by Bleeding Gums Murphy, and a gap pitch by Mr. Burns that is simply as unhealthy as you assume it’s, this “Homer” of an episode completely captures the fun of a very good baseball recreation. There isn’t any subplot right here, both; it is all about sports activities. The outstanding craft on show right here illustrates why Season 2 ranks amongst the best seasons of The Simpsons.

4 “Lisa the Greek”

Season 3, Episode 14

Two newscasters talk in The Simpsons
picture by way of twentieth Tv

In its very first scene, “Lisa the Greek” completely encapsulates the poor consuming habits that include watching soccer all day: Homer is surrounded by heavily-salted snacks on the sofa, and begins reaching for all of them so rapidly that he resembles a yellow octopus. Nevertheless, the primary topic of this underappreciated masterpiece is compulsive sports activities playing. Homer has bother choosing the proper predictions from hysterically unreliable commentators who use foolish props, together with the Lock of the Week, the Shoe-In of the Week, and the Gamble-Tron 2000.

Seems Lisa’s a pure, although. What she calls the “savage ballet that’s professional soccer” turns into an amazing bonding exercise between her and her father. Sunday turns into Daddy-Daughter Day, however quickly sufficient, Lisa finds that Homer solely spends time together with her for her betting prowess. When the Tremendous Bowl comes round, the winner will make clear whether or not Lisa nonetheless loves her father or not. The emotional stakes align with the sport accordingly, and permit for a touching ending to an excellent episode that also makes time to ship up the “never-tedious Tremendous Bowl Halftime present.”

3 “Lisa on Ice”

Season 6, Episode 8

Lisa and Bart face off during a hockey game in The Simpsons
Picture by way of Fox

Lisa’s failing health club, so her trainer tells her to affix a Pee Wee workforce exterior of faculty. Sadly, she will’t dribble and single-handedly ruins the volleyball season. In the meantime, Homer places method an excessive amount of strain on Bart within the hockey league. Watching an injured Milhouse tied to the goalposts in lieu of a backup goalie is incredible, however Apu fortunately finds a alternative in Lisa. At first, she’s understandably afraid of getting hit by the puck, however she’s additionally a phenom. Therefore, the title, “Lisa on Ice.”

Lisa’s terrific video games solely make Homer dial up the strain on his youngsters. All in regards to the hockey season, this episode’s message about favoritism and unhealthy competitors are loud and clear. Finally, Lisa’s workforce faces Bart’s in a recreation that completely lampoons the group chants, nationwide anthem, and hostility between the groups. When it lastly comes all the way down to a penalty shot within the third interval, Bart and Lisa shock all people. It is one in every of The Simpsons’ most touching (and chaotic) endings, making for one in every of the Simpson siblings’ best episodes.

2 “Homer on the Bat”

Season 3, Episode 17

A baseball team stands together in The Simpsons
Picture by way of Fox

“Homer on the Bat” incorporates sufficient MLB cameos to make your head spin. The Springfield Powerplant’s baseball workforce is having an amazing season, however Mr. Burns desires to verify he wins the championship (he made a relatively hefty wager). So he will get Darryl Strawberry, Roger Clemens, José Conseco, Mike Scioscia, and different well-known abilities to affix the roster. This, after all, signifies that all the blokes who need to play are benched.

It is enjoyable to observe these skilled gamers so simply say sure to such a foolish supply, however the hypnotist and surprisingly tasty nerve-tonic are simply as absurd. Evidently, Burns is not the best supervisor to work with. His outbursts in direction of a really confused Don Mattingly present how relentless micromanaging could make a boss conjure complaints about non-existent issues – Mattingly nonetheless likes him higher than Steinbrenner, although. To high it off, this Season 3 all-star ends with one in every of the best songs in the series.

1 “Useless Placing Society”

Season 2, Episode 6

Homer holding a gold putter at Bart in The Simpsons
Picture by way of Fox

“Useless Placing Society” exhibits how even miniature golf can depart a crowd breathless with anticipation. Homer feels insufficient subsequent to Flanders and his good household, so he’ll use an upcoming mini-golf event to repair that. An unconfident Bart must defeat putting-prodigy Todd Flanders. So Lisa helps her brother with books, enlightening riddles, and easy geometry. The coaching course of is so complete that viewers can comply with how Bart adjustments his mindset to enhance his recreation: a personality arc that is on par with Bart’s best episodes.

An unusually annoyed Flanders and Homer make a wager with fairly excessive stakes. The strain is palpable, but Bart wills himself right into a state of nirvana to play. The commentary, the viewers, and the truth that Flanders is simply as keen about successful as Homer make for a really suspenseful climax. The admirable show of sportsmanship on the final gap could be emulated by “Lisa on Ice” 4 seasons later, and the intelligent ending makes this episode a real hole-in-one.

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NEXT: ‘The 10 Best Homer Episodes in The Simpsons, Ranked’

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