You can ask a hundred fans of The Simpsons about what their Top Ten Favorite Episodes Of All Time are, and you’ll get one hundred different answers. From Lemon of Troy to 22 Shorts Stories About Springfield, to Cape Feare, and even to Mr. Plow, The Simpsons has been doling out the laughs forever. However, in my opinion, the best Simpsons episode of all time is Homer’s Phobia, which tackles homophobia in a way that only Homer Simpson can.
I’m a big fan of socio/political themes in shows, so if you’re able to keep the heart of the show going, without being preachy, then to me, it’s one hell of a show on more than one level. I’m a big fan of layers, and the episode Homer’s Phobia did a brilliant job of using layers and tackled Homophobia by using the natural stupidity of Homer Simpson to tell their story…… and it was just flawless from start to finish.
In the episode, Homer pulls away from their new family friend John (played by one of my filmmaking heroes, John Waters) after discovering that John is gay. In a Homer Simpson level panic, he fears that John will eventually turn Bart gay if he hangs around him too much, so he decides to take him on some very manly expeditions to ensure that Bart never loses his heterosexuality. However, whether it be hunting, visiting a steel mill, or making him sit outside and look at a cigarette billboard advertisement all day, every plan Homer backfires, until the confrontation comes to him. By the end of the episode, Homer accepts John for who he is (more or less) and tells Bart that he’s okay to live his in any way he sees fit, even though Bart has no idea that Homer thinks he’s gay until Lisa smartens him up.
Just writing about it makes me want to watch it immediately when I stop typing this. If you haven’t seen this episode yet, go search it out on youtube or whatever streaming service you might subscribe too. It’s an important episode in The Simpsons history, and in my opinion, Homer’s Phobia is the very best episode they’ve ever had.
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Photo Credit: Fox Home Entertainment