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10. A Hunka Hunka Burns in Love — Mr. Burns falls in love! And with a woman voiced by national treasure Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Homer, and later Snake, get involved in their romance, and of course, that's when things get interesting. It's nice when Burns gets to be something less than a villain on occasion, and he and Homer are a winning duo.
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9. The Great Louse Detective — The best of the latter period Sideshow Bob episodes, wherein he takes on something of a Hannibal Lecter role. Bob is released from prison to help solve the mystery of who is trying to kill Homer. It turns out, it's Frank Grimes Jr, which is great. Plus, Bob sings showtunes! What more could you want?
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8. The Book Job — This one (featuring the voice of Neil Gaiman) is a riff on heist movies, and also eventually becomes something of a heist story. The episode centers on the fine art of group writing a Young Adult book—hilarity ensues.
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7. The Squirt and the Whale — Lisa befriends a beached whale which is, alas, doomed to die. It's a fairly emotionally deep episode, but also very funny.
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6. The Last of the Red Hat Mamas — Milhouse suddenly becomes very Italian... and nobody's here to tell you that part of the episode is good. This is such a great Marge episode though, and Marge is incredibly underrated. So often overlooked because of Homer, this is one of those episodes that serves her very well.
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5. The President Wore Pearls — This is a riff on Evita, which is a bold choice. Fortunately, it's fantastic and hilarious. The songs are catchy and silly, and Lisa makes a wonderful pint-size Eva Peron. Plus, Martin Prince borrows an idea from "Saved by the Bell."
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4. The Boys of Bummer — Bart becomes a pariah after he blows a baseball game, and while that storyline is funny, Homer becoming a mattress salesman, is even funnier.
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3. The Dad Who Knew Too Little — A great Homer and Lisa episode. Homer realizes he doesn't know anything about his daughter, so he hires a private eye to get info on her. This doesn't end up going well for Lisa and Homer, AKA Rock Strong AKA Lance Uppercut. This episode offers up an excellent bit of plotting, and a bunch of good jokes. The movies that Ned and Homer make for their respective children are great, too.
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2. Poppa's Got a Brand New Badge — Otherwise known as that one time when Homer became a vigilante, and it was great. His adventures in home security, and later as a de facto police chief, are not quite as good as "Homer the Vigilante," but it is a great episode. "Monster put card in wallet." Need we say more?
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1. All's Fair in Oven War — This is by far, the best episode of the non-classic Simpsons era. In fact, this episode is so good, it belongs on a list of best Simpsons episodes, full stop. Everything about "All's Fair" hits. Bart starts living a "Playdude" lifestyle after finding his father's old Playdudes with the erotic nudes cut out. However, Marge's time as a competitive baker is where the true excellence comes in. It's a great, hilarious story replete with amazing one-liners. On top of that, Homer has an incredible fantasy sequence where he meets various cartoon spokespersons. If you ever want to prove to somebody that The Simpsons didn't stop being funny after the turn of the millennium, point them toward "All's Fair in Oven War."