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6. "Co-Dependent's Day"
Homer J. Simpson has unintentionally upset his wife on thousands of occasions, but the 2004 episode "Co-Dependent's Day" featured Homer purposely framing poor, beleaguered Marge for a DUI that almost proved fatal. This Homer wasn't a sometimes-insensitive-but-
7. "How I Spent My Strummer Vacation"
Early Simpsons episodes rarely employed guest stars who weren't playing an actual character. (Even Michael Jackson played a big fat white guy who thought he was Michael Jackson). That changed sometime after the tenth season when the big-name celeb cameos began pouring in almost too quickly to count. "Strummer Vacation" could be the ultimate example of this trend, shoehorning six rock stars into a Homer-recaptures-his-youth story. Granted, that's not as many guests as appeared in the baseball-centric 1992 episode "Homer At The Bat," but that episode actually gave the nine sluggers something to do. I think Brian Setzer spoke all of three words in "Strummer Vacation." And the episode's namesake, Joe Strummer, wasn't even in the fucking thing!
8. "24 Minutes"
Airing one day before the season-six finale of 24 in 2007, this by-the-numbers Simpsons parody of FOX's number-one crime drama stank of cross promotion. Of course, Springfield had seen this kind of thing before; the 1995 Simpsons episode "A Star Is Burns" was basically just an ad for the short-lived Jon Lovitz cartoon The Critic. That one at least had gratuitous Barney Gumble and Hans Moleman, two characters who have never failed to amuse. Here? Not even a smidgen of Disco Stu. Disco Stu does not like being marginalized!
9. "The Frying Game"
This 2002 episode eighty-sixed the chance to nail a great murder mystery akin to "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" in favor of topical humor. Homer and Marge are arrested for the suspicious death of their Meals on Wheels customer Mrs. Bellamy. Any honest suspense is shattered at the program's end when Mrs. Bellamy is revealed to be Carmen Electra in disguise; the whole murder was a stunt, nothing more than the gag of a reality show called "Frame Up." A truly stupid cop-out ending from the usually great writer John Swartzwelder. Guess he was hitting the Tomacco too hard when he penned this one.
10. "That '90s Show"
A Weird Al cameo wasn't enough to save this unforgivable 2008 retcon of Marge and Homer's youthful romance. In "That '90s Show," the Simpson parents recall their courtship not in the mid-1970s (as explored in the classic season-two episode "The Way We Was") but in the early 1990s (when, mind-fuckingly enough, The Simpsons itself defined the zeitgeist). Suddenly, Homer was in a grunge band, Marge was in a Jennifer Aniston haircut, and warm vomit was all over hardcore fans' Fat Tony t-shirts.