10. Homer’s Speech To Marge At Prom Night // The Way We Was (S4E12)
In a flashback episode we learn of how Homer and Marge started dating which was no easy walk in the park, after Homer tried and failed to win Marge many times. On the night of prom Homer was misinformed in taking Marge to the prom who ends up going with Artie Ziff instead. Homer walks home disappointed, but is caught up by Marge who had previously been harassed by Artie and says she realises she good have gone with Homer. She offers him a lift and asks why Homer looks so glum, to which he says:
“I got a problem. Once you stop this car I’m gonna hug you, and kiss you and I’ll never be able to let you go.”
9. Homer’s Suicide Attempt // Homer’s Odyssey (S1E03)
After crashing his electric cart into a cooling vent, Homer is fired from his job. He is unsuccessful in finding a new one and feels like a burden to the rest of the family. He writes a note to them and decides he is going to commit suicide by attaching a boulder to his person. Fortunately, Lisa finds the note just in time and in turn, Homer ends up saving his family from being mowed down. I think this is a forgotten about episode, but the nature of Homer feeling like a burden and intending to commit suicide really left an impression on me and this was only the third episode of the show too!
8. Bart Gets Another F // Bart Gets An F (S2E01)
To me this is one of the very best Simpsons episodes and those first few episodes of the second season are so dynamic. We see a change in Bart from woeful school failure who doesn’t care, to someone who actually tries his hardest to achieve a better grade. In one of the final scenes after studying hard, he receives another F and will have to resit the fourth grade. He breaks down in tears and references his emotions to how “George Washington felt when he surrendered Fort Necessity to the French in 1754!” to which his obscure historical reference earns him a passing D- and can move on to the next grade. You really feel for Bart in this episode.
7. Bleeding Gums Murphy Dies // Round Springfield (S6E22)
After Bart has his appendix taken out from swallowing a jagged ‘Krusty-o’, Lisa sees Bleeding Gums Murphy is in a hospital bed down the hall. Lisa reconnects with her love of music and after an exciting performance at school, she rushes to tell Bleeding Gums about it. She finds out he has already passed on and is destroyed that her mentor and musical influence has died. She makes it her aim for all of Springfield to hear the music of Bleeding Gums Murphy.
6. Mr. Bergstrom Leaves // Lisa’s Substitute (S2E19)
Lisa feels she has no male role model in her life until Mr. Bergstrom appears as the substitute teacher for her class. His intellectual and emotional personality has a great and influential impact on Lisa and causes her to resent Homer. Bergstrom also shows great admiration for Lisa’s abilities. She wants to invite Bergstrom round for dinner, but learns he has already left the school. She finds out he is leaving town and runs to the train station. A teary-eyed Lisa is upset at his departure and Mr. Bergstrom writes her a note saying “You are Lisa Simpson” to remind her if she ever feels alone to read it. Lisa takes out her grief on Homer before the two of them eventually make up.