Raging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson in "The Curse of the Flying Hellfish"
This is my personal favourite episode of The Simpsons
. It's as funny as one expects from an episode of the show, but it is also surprisingly well-plotted and heartwarming. The story is based on the "Hellfish Bonanza", a treasure trove of valuable paintings stolen in World War II. Abraham "Grampa" Simpson and Mr. Burns were members of the Flying Hellfish unit, which agreed that the last surviving member would inherit the treasure. Naturally, Mr. Burns, being the greedy Corrupt Corporate Executive
he is, decides he will kill Abe for the treasure. One who is familiar with Abe Simpson will suspect him of telling his usual tall tales, and in fact his typical characterization is played with through Bart's embarrassed eyes, who of course doesn't believe him. However, when Mr. Burns comes along and steals the keys to the treasure from Abe's resigned hands, Bart is determined to make sure his more deserving grandfather gets the treasure.
The backstory is based on actual historical tales of stolen paintings in World War II, along with the concept of the "tontine". This learning experience elevates the plot into something enriching as well as entertaining. Also notable about this episode is Abe Simpson getting his character meaningfully fleshed out as opposed to being portrayed as a stereotypical Grumpy Old Man
. He acknowledges that he is seen as a failure, but despite this, Bart shows his lesser-shown sympathetic side and encourages his grandfather. This ultimately makes the ending especially touching, as after Abe shows his inner badass
against Mr. Burns, he tells Bart that he wanted to show him that he wasn't always a pathetic old coot, and Bart denies this self-portrayal. This is one of the many great family bonding moments of The Simpsons
, and I would even go on to say this is the Crowning Moment Of Heartwarming
With a well-developed plot, great action, and heart, this is one of the exemplary episodes of The Simpsons