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The Surprising Simpsons Episodes That Fans Always Skip On A Rewatch

Forty years ago, animation was a genre of entertainment mostly recognized for occupying the minds of the youngest generation of television watchers. However, much of that changed with the introduction of 1989's "The Simpson." The series, surely one of the most iconic shows ever made, has been a multi-generational fixture on television screens since it first debuted more than 30 years ago. 

Created by Matt Groening, "The Simpsons" has over 30 seasons under its belt and shows no signs of stopping as it continues to tap into America's ever-evolving culture. Of course, the Fox animated series focuses on Homer (Dan Castellaneta), the bumbling patriarch of the Simpsons family; his two children, Bart (Nancy Cartwright) and Lisa (Yeardley Smith); and his wife, Marge (Julie Kavner). Over the series' three-decade tenure, the creative team has penned and produced over 700 episodes (via IMDb). Seeing as the series is a mainstay of American culture, it's certainly no surprise that audiences throughout the world continue to rewatch the exploits of the Simpson clan.

A number of episodes have come to define "The Simpsons," such as Season 4, Episode 12 ("Marge vs. the Monorail"), a high-rated episode that continues to be revisited during rewatches (via Reddit). Conversely, some fans have also made it clear that there are other episodes they simply cannot stand to rewatch.

My Sitter, My Sitter is a miserable experience for Lisa fans

An episode that fans tend to skip on a rewatch of "The Simpsons" is one that stretches Lisa's patience. Season 8, Episode 17 ("My Sitter, My Sitter") sees Lisa become a superstar babysitter in Springfield. After positive feedback from neighbors, Homer and Marge leave the young girl to babysit Bart, her older brother, and Maggie, a toddler. Offended that Lisa is babysitting him, Bart decides to torment her with a variety of pranks. The siblings eventually get into a spat, which leads to Bart being injured. Lisa, trying to prove her skills as a competent sitter, embarks upon a stressful odyssey to get her brother the medical treatment he needs.

In a Reddit thread discussing "The Simpsons" episodes that don't get the rewatch treatment, u/corticalization revealed that they tend to skip "My Sitter, My Sitter." Similarly, u/emdawg responded in agreement, saying the episode makes them feel awful. When asked to elaborate, this Reddit user was quick to respond. "I just hate seeing Lisa go through that scary and miserable experience," u/emdawg wrote. "She's all alone with the unconscious Bart in the mud and rain." It wasn't long before another Reddit user also joined the conversation in agreement. "What happens to her is pretty unpleasant," u/TT454 said. "Bart was just mad because he didn't want to be told what to do by someone over two years younger than him, but he took it too far."

After Bart's injuries are treated at the hospital, the siblings eventually make up, but the experience is certainly a harrowing one. Despite the tarnishing of Lisa's perfect streak as a babysitter, she continues to receive jobs from their neighbor, Ned Flanders.

Fans don't care for The Simpsons' clip shows

Other Reddit users revealed that they skip most of the clip-show episodes. Indeed, this was a topic of conversation on more than one thread on the r/TheSimpsons subreddit. Interestingly, one user even chimed in with a more general statement in regards to clip shows. u/JackintheBoxman said, "In that vein, any clip show episodes are bad and filler." Of course, after more than 30 years on the air, "The Simpsons" has a number of clip episodes under its belt.

Clip shows were a previously popular episodic format that allowed creatives to utilize various clips from previous episodes as flashbacks. Typically, there would be a central, running theme throughout the episode to rationalize the use of these clips. The first clip-show episode of "The Simpsons" was Season 4, Episode 18 ("So It's Come to This: A Simpsons Clip Show"). The episode sees Bart and Homer one-upping each other through a variety of sophomoric pranks. As usual, Bart eventually takes things too far, sending Homer into a coma. While Homer recovers, various other characters reflect on pivotal moments in Homer's life, presenting writers with the perfect opportunity to revisit the past. 

Notably, u/TT454 also revealed that they tend to skip a variety of episodes from Season 4. "There are multiple episodes of Season 4 that I don't watch," u/TT454 said. "That season has an oddly mean-spirited tone." The debut clip-show episode certainly fits the mean-spirited bill as it's one of the many episodes that features the father-son duo at odds with one another, leading to considerable violence between the two. Oddly enough, Season 4 is also considered by some people to be one of the best seasons of "The Simpsons."

Stark Raving Dad is a skip for fans

Season 3, Episode 1 ("Stark Raving Dad") featured singer Michael Jackson in a guest-star role. In the episode, Homer is mistakenly sent to a mental institution as a result of Bart's pranks. There, the patriarch of the Simpson family meets an individual who claims to be the pop superstar. In actuality, the character is a man named Leon Kompowsky, a mild-mannered bricklayer who finds solace in assuming Jackson's identity. Ironically, the real-life Jackson voiced the character who impersonates himself. 

Interestingly, u/TheRealBlazzMaTazz revealed that they always skip this episode. In another thread on the r/TheSimpsons subreddit, another user even labeled the episode one of the potential worst early entries in the series. u/beachlifeindeath1 said, "Stark Raving Dad, even divorced from the Michael Jackson stuff, really isn't that good."

Of course, since the episode's premiere, it has become mired in controversy as a result of its inclusion of the late King of Pop. In fact, the episode was pulled from circulation in 2019 after the release of "Leaving Neverland," a documentary that highlighted sexual assault allegations against Jackson (via The Guardian). Seeing as the episode has been pulled from streaming services like Disney+ and digital vendors like iTunes, audiences are now often forced to skip the debut episode of Season 3 regardless of how they feel about it. Notably, despite the fact that this choice was made by the show's producers, some viewers don't appear to be fans of this decision (via Reddit).

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).