The longest-running American sitcom to have ever graced the small screen, The Simpsons has often enjoyed pop cultural phenomenon status during its thirty-one seasons. Contrary to their viewers, the characters of The Simpsons haven't aged a day with Homer and Marge going through several retellings of their marriage and Bart and Lisa never escaping primary school.
One aspect of The Simpsons that has aged, however, is the writing. Once the pinnacle of TV satire, The Simpsons has seen a gradual nosedive in the quality department throughout the new millennium.
For many years, Family Guy was deemed an inferior knock off of this show, with both series mocking the other over it. Sadly, Matt Groening's magnum opus has fallen in quality, often feeling like a particularly bad episode of Seth Macfarlane's cutaway carnival (so pretty much any episode from the past five years).
Its mountain of Emmys would seem bizarre to younger viewers who never saw The Simpsons in its glory days. From abysmal guest star turns to tasteless examinations of real world themes, The Simpsons has enjoyed its fair share of stinkers with some stinking to a higher heaven than others.
10. A Midsummer's Nice Dreams
This double trouble spoof of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and Cheech and Chong's Nice Dreams flick didn't exactly set the world on fire. Homer and Seymour Skinner replace the infamous pothead duo, and discover the two were never into marijuana at all. There's also a frivolous subplot surrounding Marge's futile efforts to get Crazy Cat Lady over her hoarding obsession.
The worst episode of series twenty-two, it highlighted the season's heavy over reliance on guest voices. The plot itself is a mess with jokes that don't land whatsoever. While Cheech and Chong enjoyed a solid following throughout the 70s and 80s, they were hardly relevant by 2011. Once renowned for its biting satire and timely references and themes, this episode left one feeling the writers had completely lost track of the modern pop cultural pulse.
To cap it all off, there's a commercial for Hulu.com at the end of the episode with Bart posing as Puck, an essential character for anything Midsummer Night's Dream-related left out in the cold for a lot of this. Poor stuff. To the surprise of no one, it was the lowest rated episode of its season.