In celebration of the 500th Episode of my favorite TV show of all-time, The Simpsons. I'm counting down my Top 40 favorite episodes.
#11: Homer the Great
January 8, 1995
PLOT: Homer joins a secret society, then is quickly identified as "The Chosen One" but his new-found power comes with the price of alienating his friends.
Couch Gag: The living room is at the center of an M.C. Escher's Relativity style environment with multiple staircases and conflicting perspectives; the family enters from various directions (and dimensions) and sits.
This is a classic in every sense of the word, as most of the upcoming episodes will be. But this is probably one even the casual Simpson fan is familiar with and with good reason. It's a fantastic episode, with some Grade A Simpsons humor and some actual human emotion rarely scene in Homer-heavy episodes.
The plot is one that is hilarious and heartfelt. Homer finds out about a secret society, the Stonecutters, in which basically all of Springfield's men are members: Lenny, Carl, Moe, Mr. Burns etc. Eventually, Homer becomes a member and through fate, thanks to his birthmark, is celebrated as "The Chosen One" and is treated like royalty. But this status comes at a price. While his absolute power is fun for a while, Homer starts to get bored with getting his way all the time and when he tries to use his power to do some good, he turns off his fellow members, who want nothing more than to drink beer and carouse.
This episode taps into one of Homer's anxieties and one that is completely relatable: the fear of being left out. Flashing back to a childhood anecdote, this episode gives us one of the saddest (though, hilarious at the same time) chapters in young Homer's life: The No Homers Club. Heartbreaking may be over-selling it, but it is sad to see Homer left out as its something we have all probably experienced at least once.
Patrick Stewart gives a memorable guest appearance as #1, the Stonecutter defacto leader. And, of course, we get one of the absolute best songs in the history of the show: