What about Bart in "Cape Feare" managing to stay alive by goading Bob into singing the entireH.M.S. Pinafore until they got to Springfield? Let me repeat that... Someone singing every single role, including the female ones, of a 2-plus-hour play, at the bequest of his most hated enemy, just so he can be handed over to the police yet again?
Also, Bob actually managing to do that.
Bart figuring out Sideshow Bob's plan in "Black Widower". Bob freaked out about not having a fireplace, which Bart found strange. He then realized that Selma wouldn't smell the gas due to a childhood accident. She would then blow herself up due to her smoking habit when Bob would be out of the room. Bart then convinced his family to rescue Selma. When Bob returns to his room after an explosion occured, he looks where Selma is sitting only to see Bart who calls the police in to arrest Bob.
Homer getting fed up with his father in "Grampa vs. Sexual Inadequacy"
Abe:(Legitimately regretful) I'm sorry I said that.
Homer:OUT. Abe: (nervously gets out) I'm going to get out now, and I hope you'll find it in your heart not to dri— (The car peels away, leaving Grandpa alone)
As seen in the above picture, Homer strangling Bart in Father Knows Worst. Homer mistakenly swallows a flaming stick believing it was a shish kebab, prompting Bart to trick him into drinking lighter fluid. Homer then proceeds to choke Bart and breathe fire at the same time.
Homer: BURN, BARTY!! BURN!!!
And then there's Apu calling out Principal Skinner on his plans to plagiarize Jurassic Park for a lame novel of his own.
Skinner: I finally have time to do what I've always wanted: write the great American novel. Mine is about a futuristic amusement park where dinosaurs are brought to life through advanced cloning techniques. I call it "Billy and the Cloneasaurus."
Apu: Oh, you have got to be kidding sir. First you think of an idea that has already been done. Then you give it a title that nobody could possibly like. Didn't you think this through... [later] ...was on the bestseller list for eighteen months! Every magazine cover had... [later] ...most popular movies of all time, sir! What were you thinking?! I mean, thank you, come again.
Flanders has a handful of candidate moments, like when he rips off his shirt to reveal an Adonis-like physique, or when God personally and immediately answers his prayers (especially when he gets God to save his son from being drifted down a river and when he gets God to cheat for him and shock Homer during a bowling game).
Anytime Flanders stops being a doormat and starts standing up for himself, it's awesome. Particularly in "Bart Star" when Homer is being a total Jerk Ass while Flanders is trying to coach. After a few games worth of taunting, Ned walks up to him, tells him off, and forces him to become the coach.
Don't forget when everyone at the Candy Convention chases after Homer and Marge, who has trouble running with her stuffed trenchcoat. Homer stops at the exit, kicks a Buzz Cola machine to get a can of pop, rips the tab off with his teeth, rips open a packet of Pop Rocks, and puts the packet over the can and shakes it. "See you in hell, candy boys!" he calls, lobbing it into the crowd. They all stop to watch as Homer continues to run in slow motion, the glass of the doors shattering behind him with the force of the fiery blast.
And this line from "Lemon of Troy."
Bart: That lemon tree's a part of our town, and as kids, the backbone of our economy, we'll get it back, or choke their rivers with our dead!
The season 15 episode "Simple Simpson" note The one where Homer becomes a pie-throwing superhero.. Homer's various battle cries ("It's cobblerin' time!" being the most prominent), Lisa's nonchalant proof, and most of all the final dramatic pose on the roof, when Bart joins him with the most perfect in-context sidekick name there could have been (The Cupcake Kid).
The end of "Lisa's Substitute" was specifically designed as one for Homer. After his insensitivity makes Lisa hate him more, Homer goes upstairs to make amends (and bungles it a few times, until he turns on Lisa's music box and Homer tells Lisa — in dead earnestness — that he does care that Lisa lost someone who cared about her intellect and talent and that he doesn't have to worry about losing those he loves because he has his familynote even though "Mother Simpson" and the later episodes about Homer's mom being alive and on the run from the police would make what he said Harsher in Hindsight). Then Homer goes to Bart's room and cheers him up about not winning the class election by telling him that being class president is just a meaningless job with no perks and more work. After putting Maggie to bed, Homer comes downstairs and tells Marge that he's on the roll of his life.
Grandpa saving Bart from drowning and then royally beating the crap out of Mr. Burns, verbally beating him down, and dismissing him from the Flying Hellfish.
"I ain't gonna kill you. That'd be cowardly - Monty-Burns-cowardly. I just wanna watch you squirm!"
His epic speech dismissing Burns from the Flying Hellfish and proving he's very much still a Badass.
Grandpa: There is one thing we don't stand for in the Hellfish and that's trying to kill your commanding officer! So consider this your dishonorable discharge!! You're out of my unit! You're out of the tontine! And that means the paintings are mine! Private, You. Are. Dismissed!note Those three emphasized words are so handy, a character from World of Warcraft (Garrosh Hellscream) also uses it to put a corrupt soldier in his place.
Skinner gets one in the episode "Lisa the Beauty Queen". The Springfield Elementary school carnival ("The Happiest Place On Earth") is in full swing, when Seymour is confronted by the Blue Haired Lawyer flanked by two large goons. The lawyer threatens to sue Skinner for the use of the phrase "The Happiest Place on Earth". Skinner proceeds to inform them that it is a VERY bad idea to make a ex Green Beret angry and then proceeds to take down the BHL and one of the goons with a well-timed finger jab and kick to the chest. As the second goon flees in terror, Skinner picks up the BHL's briefcases and tosses it at the thug, knocking him out. And to top it off..
Skinner got another one in ''Who Shot Mr Burns (Part1/2). First of all, he gives Mr.Burns a Reason You Suck Speech when Mr.Burns attempts to trick him into giving the oil well ownership over to him. Needless to say, Mr.Burns' Paper-Thin Disguise was discovered immediately.
The Boy Who Knew Too Much. The finest point being: Bart saws through the rope support of a bridge after crossing it, and it falls into the water. Bart thinks that Skinner can no longer track him. Cue Skinner walking underwater to the other side, without breaking stride, the music restarting as his head rises from the water.
Anytime Homer actually buckles down and acts like a true father (cf. "The Itchy and Scratchy Movie," where his moratorium for Bart to see the "Itchy and Scratchy" movie lasts until 2032 [it was 1992 when this episode first aired] when Bart is now Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the two finally get to see the movie together, "Father Knows Worst" where Homer has to be the strong parent since Marge is too absorbed in the basement sauna she found, and the episode where Homer sells the TV to put the family in therapy, then when the therapy doesn't work, he forces Dr. Monroe to refund him double what he paid and the family goes out and buys another TV).
In the first season, Marge is tempted into an affair with a suave French bowling instructor, but on her way to the instructor's house, she decides to blow off the affair and visit Homernote For context, she was mad at Homer for giving her a bowling ball and ignoring him to go bowling herself. During the course of the story, she realizes her married life is getting strained and decides to forgive Homer instead of carry on an affair that will surely ruin her marriage to the one man she truly loves, despite his boorish behavior, to the tune of "Up Where We Belong." Homer then picks her up and carries her outside, announcing to the whole plant in so many words that he's walking out on his job to have sex. You could also make this one for the people behind the show, with the way the episode brazenly challenged the kinds of stories an American cartoon series could have, while still being reasonably family friendly.
When it becomes clear that the botched movie adaptation of Comic Book Guy's comic book, Everyman, is going to (deservedly) bomb at the box office, the executives try to persuade him to use his online fan-following to make it successful. In defiance of not only a lucrative movie deal, but the obligatory cynical "punchline" itself, Comic Book Guy responds on his blog:
Comic Book Guy: Everyman: The Motion Picture is the culmination of a life-long dream, and I was one of the few who saw that dream realized on screen last night. If there is one fault to find with this $200 million production, it is that this is the WORST - MOVIE - EVER!
"Bart the Daredevil" is mostly remembered for its Crowning Moment of Funny ending (Homer falling down the cliff — twice — then telling daredevil Lance Murdock that raising his kids is more dangerous than jumping over things on a motorcycle), but the moment preceding it is pure CMOA and Tearjerker combined as Homer shows that he's willing to die to stop Bart from throwing his life away.
Homer: Bart, I tried ordering you, I tried punishing you, and God help me, I even tried reasoning with you, and now the only thing left to do is to jump the gorge myself.
Bart: But why?
Homer: Because then you'll know what it's like to see a family member stupidly risking his life for no good reason!
Bart: But you'll never make it!
Homer: Don't you think I know that? Goodbye, son.
In the episode where Bart pulls a prank on the whole town by making them think a little boy named Timmy was trapped in the town well, the townsfolk come up with all kinds of ridiculous schemes to get him out. When Bart himself falls down the well, and the townsfolk refuse to help him out of anger at being tricked, Homer decides that enough is enough when Bart starts to cry at his predicament.
Homer: That's all I can stands, I can't stands no more! I'm going to get you out of there myself! (As he starts digging, Groundskeeper Willie sees what he's doing) Willie: Now why didn't I think of that?! (retrieves his own shovel)Agnes... we've got work to do! (rips his shirt and overalls off)
Eventually, more and more people come out to help, including Sting, until Bart is finally rescued.
Speaking of Papa Wolf moments and Popeye references, there was also the time when Homer had to rescue Marge from a demolition derby, using beer instead of spinach. Too bad the donkey couldn't hold its liquor.
Marge single handedly destroying Mr. Burns' gubernatorial campaign in 'Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish.':
"Lisa, you're learning many valuable lessons tonight. and one of them is to always give your mother the benefit of the doubt."
We can't forget Homer's fist fight with former President Bush (George Herbert Walker, not Dubya, even though Dubya was mentioned en passant back before his notorious stint as U.S. President) in the sewer. High point of Homer's offense: after flattening Bush, he runs up the wall of the (circular) sewer to the top and lets gravity drop him on his target.
When Marge doesn't help Lisa with her state costume for a school contest because of her gambling addiction, Homer goes all Papa Wolf for his daughter and bursts into the casino, scolds Marge, and gets her to admit she has a problem. Don't worry. Lisa's costume still won the contest.
From Season 21 episode 18, Chief of Hearts, Homer and Chief Wiggum are trapped in a trunk by the Springfield Mafia and are on their way to be executed:
Homer: We're not gonna get whacked. Because you're Chief Clancey Wiggum and you're gonna figure a way out of this.
Chief Wiggum: You have that much faith in me?
Homer: No. Faith is what you have in things that don't exist. Your awesomeness is real!
In the flashback episode about Bart's birth, Homer arrives at the hospital flush from getting a job against all odds, and finally tells off Patty and Selma: "No, YOU listen! This is my wife, and this is my kid, and I'm paying for this delivery, so if you're going to stay here you'd better show me some respect!"
* Willie wrestling the escaped wolf that attacked Bart. Also, when they are finished, Willie shares a flask of Scotch with the beatn wolf.
Willie: Ah, don't feel bad for losing. I was wrestling wolves back when you were at your mother's teat.
His line while wrestling the wolf really sells it.
Maggie leading the other babies stuck in a hellish Ayn Rand inspired daycare center into a rebellion to get their pacifiers back, all to the theme from The Great Escape.
There's also the time when Mr. Burns tries to rob her and she shoots him with his own gun ("Who Shot Mr. Burns, Part Two")note even though it was an accident on Mr. Burns' part, since he didn't put the safety on the gun or get a holster that actually held the gun in, sharpshot Springfield Mafia members before they can kill her father ("Papa's Got a Brand New Badge"), saves Homer from drowning ("Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder"), and tracks him down when he is kidnapped ("Midnight Towboy").
From the moment Burns stops begging the Germans for his plant back until the end of the episode, practically everything he does is a moment of awesome, but in particular after they threaten him that "Germans aren't all smiles and sunshine":
Mr. Burns (sarcastic): Ooh the Germans are mad at me. I'm so scared, oooh the Germans! The Germans are going to get me, don't let the Germans come after me, they're so big and strong! Protect me from the Germans!
In "Alone Again, Natura-Diddily" when Flanders finally finds the strength to carry on and his faith in God in the wake of his wife's death
Ned: "...My name's Ned Flanders, and I'm here every week — rain or shine!"
In "Bart Stops to Smell The Roosevelts," Skinner standing up for himself to Chalmers. After all the crap Skinners has gone through from Chalmers, it felt good to see him grow a big, brass pair.
In Homer the Heretic, Apu has to leave his nephew in charge of Kwik-E-Mart to put out a fire at the Simpsons house, with Dolph, Jimbo, and Kearney saying they won't do anything while Apu's gone. The nephew, who has to be at least three or four, pulls out a shotgun and cocks it. The bullies are left slack-jawed.
Also in "Homer the Heretic," Flanders apparently missing church on Sunday just to save Homer from dying in the house fire.
The absolutely EPIC battle between the kids (Bart, Lisa, and Nelson) and the A.S.S. (American Shipping Services) in Rome-old and Juli-eh. It's absolutely over the top and ridiculous, invoking a Mundane Made Awesome reaction. And for whatever reason, one of the A.S.S. members rode on a freaking dragon and nothing is mentioned of it, but it's so awesome, the loose grip on reality can be forgiven.
In Marge Vs. The Monorail, Homer uses his quick wits to save the day in one of the series' most intense climaxes.
Homer: Donuts. Is there anything they can't do?
In Treehouse of Horror, during the Bad Dream House segment, the haunted house begins listing all the horrible things that will happen to the Simpsons until Marge finally snaps:
House: You will die! You will all die! Your stomach will swell! Your intestines will writhe and boil! Your eyes will burst! And some horrible stuff! Possibly your brains will start coming out through your nose-!
Marge: Just, just SHUSH! SHUT UP! QUIT TRYING TO PUSH US AROUND! STOP SAYING THOSE HORRIBLE THINGS AND SHOW SOME MANNERS!!!
In Treehouse of Horror XX, in the 28 Days Later parody, it has been shown that those that have been bitten by the Munchers turn in a matter of seconds. However, Homer gets bitten by an infected Mr. Burns, and he manages to mostly keep himself under control even after becoming infected.
"The Homer They Fall" has a few awesome moments. Obviously there's his amazing Made of Iron ability against practically every boxer, but a moment that less people seem to remember is when Homer gets beat up by three guys established to be Dolph's, Jimbo's, and Kearney's fathers. The guys are trying to beat Homer up (though can't do much other than make him flinch) and are finally chased away by Moe pulling a shotgun on them.
The episode where Homer, after various unsuccessful attempts, finally builds a functioning robot for Bart to compete in a Robot Wars-style tournament. "Functioning", as in "himself in a costume pretending to be a battle robot". And he reaches the finals. Especially awesome because most of the opponent robots have deadly sawblades and massive hammers and the like, and Homer takes all that punishment just to make Bart feel better.
In one episode Homer is reading a fantasy novel to Lisa. A Harry Potter parody called Angelica Button, Homer reads ahead while Lisa's at a sleepover finding out that one of the main character's gets killed off. So to avoid scarring her (Which she admitted if that happened it would destroy her childhood forever) the next time he reads it to her he makes up his own ending which "Is freaking hilarious/awesome in its absurdity" Lisa (Who knows it's obviously made up) pretends to believe him which after he leaves reads ahead herself stating. "His ending was much better"
While "The Boys of Bummer" will forever be branded as the episode that shows just how mean-spirited the show's humor has become (making Family Guy look like The Brady Bunch) and hated by anyone still watching the show, there is one ray of light in all of this: Marge calling everyone out who pushed Bart into nearly killing himself, and rallying them together to help Bart regain his self-esteem.
Homer has one in Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind. After being saved by a party boat with a bouncy castle from a suicide attempt, Homer recovers all of his memories: The reason why Homer drank the Forget-Me-Shot and erased all of his memories in the last 24 hours was that Marge was planning an surprise anniversary party, and he didn't want to spoil all of her efforts by seeing the surprise coming. The real awesome moment was when Homer anticipated himself committing suicide after drinking the shot, so he warns Lenny to put a bouncy castle on the party boat before drinking it. Homer saved himself from committing suicide for all the wrong reasons!
Lisa disappointingly has very few of these moments, though she gets a sweet one in "Lisa on Ice", even though it's played for laughs. After joining the ice hockey team, Lisa becomes so agile that she manages to protect Bart from Jimbo Jones by beating him up the way hockey players beat each other up: pulling his shirt over his head and pummeling him.
In "A Test Before Trying," Bart Simpson scores well enough on a standardized test to raise the entire school's average, allowing it to remain open. May not be a lot, but in light of Bart's Flanderization as an idiot and a loser, it's a really awesome moment to see the writers bring him back to being a Book Dumb, underachieving student who has his moments of doing extremely well if given the proper motivation (as seen in "Bart Gets an F," "The Itchy and Scratchy," and "Separate Vocations").
Milhouse and Bart get one in "Hardly Kirk-ing", when Bart makes over Milhouse to look like his father and Milhouse goes on Skype to call Homer out on being a bad father, forcing him to let Milhouse date Lisa, let Bart get away with anything, and eat ice cream straight from the carton.
Also, way back in "Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder", Homer had trouble finding Waldo, to the point where he was so engrossed in searching for him that he didn't see the man himself walk past his window. Jump to "Hardly Kirk-ing", where Homer has become so skilled at "find the hidden object" puzzles that he manages to effortlessly find Waldo within a moment on each page.
The Simpson family collectively gets one in "Itchy and Scratchy Land" when they destroy the army of rampaging robots on the island using disposable souvenior cameras.
In "Maximum Homerdrive", Homer and Bart are surrounded by a group of angry truck drivers. How do they make it out of there? By making the truck flip over the convoy!
In "Black Eyed, Please" Bart is called in to deal with the teacher bullying Lisa. She takes a two minute bathroom break. In that time, Bart has not only thrown the classroom into complete chaos, but recorded her bathroom break and uploaded it online.
Also in that episode, even if it was probably just a joke about the nuclear plant's terrible security, there's just something pretty cool about Homer saying it wouldn't take him longer than 20 minutes to get them some plutonium.
The season 11 episode "Days of Wine and D'oh'ses," where a sober Barney rescues Bart and Lisa from a forest fire.
A brief scene from "Bart's Girlfriend", after Lisa proves that Jessica Lovejoy was the culprit of the collection box robbery, Marge looks angrily toward the church congregation (who had Bart bound in a Hannibal Lecter-type straitjacket and harness) and says "I think you owe my son an apology", followed by everyone sheepishly saying sorry to him on their way out.
Lisa taking a stand in "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy", after finding out that the new talking version says some very sexist things, she decides to create her own doll with the creator of Malibu Stacy.
In "The War of the Simpsons", Homer and Marge go on a couples retreat, leaving Grandpa in charge of the kids. Bart decides to throw a party, which results in the house getting destroyed. When Bart and Lisa see Grandpa crying because Homer and Marge will never trust him again, they quickly fix all the damage. When they return, Marge asks how Grandpa was able to keep the kids under control, to which Grandpa says he was only pretending to cry ("I can turn it on an off like a faucet!") then runs out the door, leaving a stunned family in his wake.
In "Dark Knight Court," Homer conducting the Springfield Elementary School band in playing Stars and Stripes Forever with more energy and passion than Mr. Largo has ever done. Even Flanders came out to give him roses.
Also from that episode: Mr. Burns living out his dream as a superhero (Fruit Bat-Man), even though Smithers pays off most of the town to pose as supervillains.
The opening to the newest Treehouse of Horror episode, directed by Guillermo Del Toro, and a loving homage to all things horror and science fiction that manages to include shout outs to Pan's Labyrinth, H. P. Lovecraft (including an appearance by Cthulhu and Lovecraft having tea with him), Edgar Allan Poe, Ray Bradbury, Alfred Hitchcock, Pacific Rim, The Car, four different versions of Phantom of the Opera (including the cult classic Phantom of the Paradise), Alice in Wonderland, the Universal monsters (Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, Dracula, the Bride of Frankenstein, the Mummy, etc), Blade, Stephen King, the Hypnotoad, and Plan 9 from Outer Space. Recent Halloween episodes of The Simpsons had to settle for cold openings that either were overly violent (like something Family Guy at its worst would do), not very funny (because of the excessive violence and the dated pop culture jokesnote though the Mayan apocalypse opening on season 24's "Treehouse of Horror" was actually pretty good, despite being dated), or not very memorable, and the cemetery tombstone gags showing all the people and things that have died in both the figurative and literal sense (like Elvis [Accept It], Subtle Political Satire, Television Violence, Walt Disney, American Worksmanship, and "Lose Weight Now, Ask Me How") were phased out because the writers couldn't keep the gags fresh. This couch gag shows that epic couch gags for Halloween episodes are still possible (so long as the current Simpsons staff hires someone else).
Sideshow Bob rigging an election. Singlehandedly. Hell, he may have been undone by his own ego, but his rant when discovered is also fantastic.