They’re checking in — Checking-checking in!
The Simpson family welcomes an abundance of characters in and out of their two-story home. Some touch the family’s heart and some overstay their welcome. Here are the best houseguests to ever stay at 742 Evergreen Terrace:
Episode: Sleeping with the Enemy, Season 16
Like Marge says, “Sometimes you have to adopt your son’s bully in order to bring your own family temporarily closer.” The kids are tired of intense motherly love, so Marge gives her attention to someone who could really use it: Nelson Muntz. Marge gives him the courage to button his vest all the way like he’s a somebody. After Nelson’s mother leaves, he moves into the Simpson house. He’s truly grateful for the hospitality and cow’s milk, but sings for his Papa. However, that doesn’t keep him from bullying Bart. Determined to get Nelson out, Bart tracks down Nelson’s long-lost father and gets his own family back.
Episode: It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Marge, Season 11
Voiced by Indie queen, Parker Posey, Becky is set to marry Otto in the Simpsons’ backyard. The wedding comes to a halt when Poison tribute band, Cyanide, pushes heavy-metal-hating Becky to her breaking point. As Otto drives into the sunset with Cyanide, his former fiancé stays at the house. Becky slowly wins over the family with spicy foods and creativity while Marge loses everyone with her jealousy and paranoia. Good thing Becky gives up on killing Marge and taking over as the Matriarch.
Episode: My Fair Laddy, Season 17
Finally, an episode that focuses around our favorite Scotsman! Bart’s icy dodge ball destroys Willie’s shack, so the family takes him home in what becomes a musical My Fair Lady parody. Lisa challenges herself to turn Willie into a proper gentleman for the school’s science fair. “G. K. Willington, Esquire” charms the room and Lisa is crowned the winner. Much like Moe with his original fugly face, Willie eventually misses his old life and goes back to the way things were – including re-destroying his fixed shack.
Episode: The Otto Show, Season 3
With a near-perfect Marge impression, Bart plays a recording giving Otto permission to stay in the garage. After losing his job for not having a driver’s license, Otto and Bart have late night jam sessions, and he tells Lisa terrifying bedtime stories. Also, this episode gives a valuable lesson: “If something’s hard to do, then it’s not worth doing.”
Episode: A Star is Burns, Season 6
The voice of Artie Ziff and other miscellaneous Simpsons characters, Jon Lovitz, provided vocals for Fox’s short-lived — and very underrated — animated series, The Critic (created by Simpsons writers, Al Jean and Mike Reiss). This crossover episode flies New York film critic, Jay Sherman, to town for Springfield’s Film Festival. With Marge leading the judging panel, she invites Sherman. His skin turns yellow and he stays with The Simpsons. Homer meets his match with Sherman’s belching talents and his ability to belt the Oscar Meyer Weiner jingle. It’s a hilarious episode, but, unfortunately, Matt Groening thought of it as one big advertisement for the other show and does not have his usual “created by” credits.
Episode: Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes? Season 3
Danny DeVito returns as Homer’s half-brother, Herb! Living on the streets and broke after his car company was destroyed from “The Homer” car design, Herb gets an idea that could get him back on his feet. He comes to the Simpsons for help with money for a new invention. With Maggie as the perfect subject, he’s able to develop a baby-babbling translating device and regain his rich status. To return the favor, Herb buys everyone presents and gives Homer the gift of forgiveness from ruining his career (Oh, and a Spinemelter).
Krusty the Clown
Episode: Krusty Gets Kancelled, Season 4
GABBO! GABBO! GABBO! Krusty’s show goes downhill when a new children’s program becomes an overnight hit. Bart and Lisa find him homeless, and bring him back with them. They devise a plan to make Krusty King again by whipping him into shape, tracking down all of his old celebrity pals to put together a special, and exposing Gabbo for being a monster. It’s a classic Krusty episode and a star-studded one with Bette Midler, Hugh Hefner, Johnny Carson, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Krusty’s maternal half-brother, Luke Perry all making Krusty’s Comeback Special a success.
Episode: Homer and Apu, Season 5
Who needs the Kwik-e-Mart? Apu does. Homer feels guilty after going undercover causing Apu to lose his job, and offers up the house. Apu feels he’s in debt to Homer and does the chores, and the family loves Apu’s company. While in the house, there’s a grand song-and-dance number in hopes of getting over the convenience store (later nominated for an Emmy). Such a performance easily makes Apu one of the more memorable houseguests.
Cooder and Spud
Episode: Bart Carny, Season 9
After Homer and Bart cost a father and son their carnival gig, they invite the traveling carnies, Cooder and Spudford, to stay. The pair attempt to charm everyone by putting cigarettes in body holes and unhinging their joints; eventually wining them over with free tickets to a glass-bottom floor boat tour. While the family is out, the two break ‘The Carny Code’ and squat in the house. Starting trash can fires in the living room and wearing Homer’s huge clothes, they live like “millionaires.” Ultimately, they get beaten by the best in a game of giant hoop toss and the family gets the house back. As far as one-off characters go, Cooder (voiced by Jim Varney) and Spud are two stand-out visitors.
Michael Jackson (Leon Kompowsky)
Episode: Stark Raving Dad, Season 3
Ahh, the episode that gave us one the catchiest Simpsons’ songs, “Lisa, It’s Your Birthday.” Homer returns from the mental institution with his new friend — the one and only, Michael Jackson. Word gets out, but to everyone’s surprise, this MJ is a “big white guy who thinks he’s the little black guy.” With a delicate speaking voice and nice demeanor, he charms the Simpson family and helps Bart give the gift of song to celebrate his sister 8th birthday. Michael leaves the family, revealing his true identity & his goal to make people happy. Fun fact: Michael Jackson did provide the speaking parts and songwriting, but due to contracts, a sound-a-like performed the song’s vocals. (“John Jay Smith” is the name used to credit the appearance.)
Of course, there are more greats guests such as: Artie Ziff, The Hell Satan’s, and Ol’ Gil. Let us know your favorite!