10 Worst ‘The Simpsons’ Episodes, Ranked According to IMDb


Not only is it common knowledge that The Simpsons has gone on for a ridiculously long time, but 20 years ago, people were probably already saying that The Simpsons had gone on for a ridiculously long time. The show technically started all the way back in 1989, and has most recently been renewed for 35th and 36th seasons. It debuted the same year Seinfeld did, and that show’s been off the air for a quarter of a century, so it’s not surprising to see that it’s had its fair share of underwhelming episodes in that time.

As such, for as great as it once was, it’s a regrettable reality that The Simpsons is like an old gray mare; she ain’t what she used to be. While The Simpsons at its worst might not be as egregious or offensive as a “prestige” show like Game of Thrones at its worst, these will still prove underwhelming for long-time fans and newcomers alike. The lowest-rated Simpsons episodes according to IMDb are ranked below, starting with the not-so-good and ending with the single worst-rated Simpsons episode in the show’s staggering 30+ years on the air.

The Simpsons

Release Date
December 17, 1989

Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer

Main Genre




Watch on Disney+

10 “Clown in the Dumps” (Season 26, Episode 1)

IMDb Rating: 5.7/10

The Simpsons - Clown in the Dumps - 2014
Image via 20th Television

There was a good deal of hype around the season 26 premiere, “Clown in the Dumps,” as it was reported that the episode would feature a major character death. Airing in 2014, Game of Thrones was still a cultural phenomenon, so perhaps people’s minds got racing at the prospect of someone important biting the dust.

It turned out to be Krusty’s dad, Rabbi Hyman Krustofsky, who’d really only been in a handful of episodes. People being let down by the “reveal” might explain The Simpsons‘ episode’s poor rating on IMDb to some extent, though the episode does at least contain a very memorable couch gag, courtesy of guest animator Don Hertzfeldt. It’s up there with the very best couch gags The Simpsons ever did, so perhaps it’s worth just watching the first couple of minutes of the episode and bowing out once the story starts.

9 “I’m Just a Girl Who Can’t Say D’oh” (Season 30, Episode 20)

IMDb Rating: 5.6/10

The Simpsons - I'm Just a Girl Who Can't Say D'oh - 2019
Image via 20th Television

It’s unlikely anyone in 1989 would’ve imagined new Simpsons episodes airing approximately 30 years later, but “I’m Just a Girl Who Can’t Say D’oh” and various other episodes made that a reality. Its main plot revolves around Marge becoming the director of Springfield’s theater, while a subplot sees Homer taking his 30-year-old infant daughter, Maggie, to a baby class.

As episodes below will also show, The Simpsons tackling music tends to be contentious, which might explain the tepid reaction to this episode. Part of the theater plot here references Hamilton, which was admittedly huge at the time, though little humor or cleverness came from it being commented on here. It’s not the show at its very worst, but it also doesn’t come close to suggesting that The Simpsons is an all-time great sitcom.

8 “Yokel Hero” (Season 32, Episode 14)

IMDb Rating: 5.6/10

The Simpsons - Yokel Hero - 2021
Image via 20th Television

Speaking of The Simpsons and not very good music, “Yokel Hero” is about Springfield’s favorite redneck, Cletus, becoming an overnight success as a musician. It’s one of many post-season 30 episodes that can make one wonder why The Simpsons has a 35th season on the way, because here in season 32, it already feels ridiculous. There must still be enough people watching to keep it on the air, though, however implausible its continued existence might otherwise be.

The plot also involves Homer becoming a manager for Cletus, and it mines a little comedy out of the dynamic that ensues, even if it ultimately ends up feeling a little plodding by the end. It’s another late-era Simpsons episode that probably wouldn’t stand as a single person’s favorite half-hour; maybe even cracking a personal top 100 would be a stretch.

7 “The Musk Who Fell to Earth” (Season 26, Episode 12)

IMDb Rating: 5.4/10

The Simpsons - The Musk Who Fell to Earth - 2015
Image via 20th Television

There’s always a risk when bringing a high-profile public figure onto a show like The Simpsons to have them play a fictionalized version of themselves. Such is the case for season 26’s “The Musk Who Fell to Earth,” which does indeed feature contentious billionaire Elon Musk visiting Springfield, befriending Homer, and clashing with Springfield’s own ultra-wealthy Mr. Burns.

It’s natural that not everyone’s going to react well to such a move, even if it’s likely to drum up some publicity and possibly decent ratings for The Simpsons when it does such a thing. It’s also simply not a very good episode, perhaps only scoring the scarcest of points for referencing the 1970s cult classic The Man Who Fell to Earth in its episode title. Instead of watchng “The Musk Who Fell to Earth,” viewers are probably better off watching that strange sci-fi movie instead.

6 “Fan-ily Feud” (Season 34, Episode 18)

IMDb Rating: 5.4/10

The Simpsons - Fan-ily Feud - 2023
Image via 20th Television

“Fan-ily Feud’ might be another Simpsons episode that provides a strong argument for the show needing to stay away from music. Here, the premise is about Homer clashing with a trendy pop singer, publicly speaking out against her in a way that gets him incredible backlash from her fiercely loyal fans.

If there’s any credit to be given, at least there’s no stunt-casting here, with no singer playing themselves, for example… and cameos/supporting voice roles from famous musicians are things The Simpsons isn’t shy about doing, as countless casting choices demonstrate. Other than that, it’s not an episode deserving of much praise, and it can’t even do the bare minimum of having a pun in its title that even just comes close to working. It’s safe to say that no one on IMDb’s a fan of “Fan-ily Feud.”

5 “Gump Roast” (Season 13, Episode 17)

IMDb Rating: 5.4/10

The Simpsons - Gump Roast - 2002
Image via 20th Television

Though most low-rated episodes of The Simpsons aired in the last 20 years, a few from the show’s earlier days (or at least nearer to the start of the show’s decline) also rank poorly. One of these is “Gump Roast,” and it might’ve felt like a “late era” Simpsons episode at one point, but it currently sits as its 286th of 750. Time marches on without a care for anyone’s feelings, after all.

The reason for this having a low rating despite being in a not-entirely terrible season of The Simpsons is because it’s a dreaded clip show episode. The framing device involves the people of Springfield giving Homer a roast, which then leads to various flashbacks of scenes from past episodes. It’s entirely skippable, with those who have sat through it clearly “rewarding” it with low ratings on IMDb.

4 “Bart vs. Itchy & Scratchy” (Season 30, Episode 18)

IMDb Rating: 5.0/10

The Simpsons - Bart vs. Itchy & Scratchy - 2019
Image via 20th Television

There’s a season 2 episode of The Simpsons called “Itchy & Scratchy & Marge” which, while not a full-on classic, is still a very good one released during the show’s early years. Nearly 30 years later came an episode called “Bart vs. Itchy & Scratchy,” and despite the similar title, it’s nowhere near the level of that other episode, nor does it have much to comment on regarding the infamously violent show within a show.

It’s about Bart and his friends reacting negatively to the idea of an all-female reboot of Itchy and Scratchy, though Bart’s allegiances change when he ends up enjoying the show. Judging by how many IMDb user reviews there are, it’s probable that “Bart vs. Itchy & Scratchy” has a low rating because it tackles a contentious social/cultural issue. Regardless of whether it does it well or poorly, such an episode is destined to get some people giving it a bad rating.

3 “All Singing, All Dancing” (Season 9, Episode 11)

IMDb Rating: 5.0/10

Marge, Homer, Lisa, Maggie and Bart standing together in their living room in The Simpsons
Image via 20th Television

One of the few 20th-century Simpsons episodes to have a noticeably low rating, “All Singing, All Dancing” combines two things that don’t always go over well. For one, it’s another clip show episode, and in addition, it’s specifically about recounting (and replaying) various musical-related scenes from the show’s first 8.5 seasons.

“All Singing, All Dancing” shows that even when the series was still generally good, it could misfire every now and then. It’s perhaps slightly more creative than your completely average clip show episode premise might be, but nowhere near as clever or subversive as the best possible clip show episodes can get. As such, “All Singing, All Dancing” feels largely inconsequential to watch for fans who’ve otherwise seen all the episodes, besides poking fun at the bizarre musical Western that is Paint Your Wagon.

2 “The Star of the Backstage” (Season 33, Episode 1)

IMDb Rating: 4.4/10

The Simpsons - The Star of the Backstage - 2021
Image via 20th Television

Season 33 got off to a rough start with “The Star of the Backstage,” which once again has a premise based around music. Here, the main plot sees Marge reviving a musical she remembers taking part in during high school, only to find an old rival returning and stirring up intense feelings she had in her youth.

This turns it into something of a musical episode, which, for most shows, tends to provide a highlight or lowlight overall. A show like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, for example, had a great musical episode that ranks among one of the show’s finest hours. In the case of “The Start of the Backstage,” it’s pretty easy to call this one a lowlight for The Simpsons, though it drummed up a certain amount of publicity and anticipation and did well ratings-wise for an episode this late in the show’s run.

1 “Lisa Goes Gaga” (Season 23, Episode 22)

IMDb Rating: 4.0/10

The Simpsons - Lady Goes Gaga - 2012
Image via 20th Television

Having both a music focus and featuring a one-off high-profile guest star, “Lisa Goes Gaga” was really playing with fire. Such things have backfired for The Simpsons, as some aforementioned episodes have shown, but these qualities backfired the most in tandem with this season 23 finale, which features pop superstar Lady Gaga playing herself. Overall, it stands as the all-time worst Simpsons episode.

It’s ironic that the episode is the least popular on IMDb, because the premise revolves around Lisa Simpson being the least popular student in Springfield, leading Lady Gaga to come to town to boost her self-esteem. It’s all a bit much, and has become infamous, even among other Simpsons episodes not within the show’s glory years. As such, it’s not too surprising to see it be the lowest-rated on IMDb. For a good palate cleaner, IMDb does at least make it easier than ever to find examples of The Simpsons at its very best.

NEXT: The Worst Episodes of ‘Family Guy,’ According to IMDb


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