It was never the same after Phil Hartman died. Seemed like the show lost its soul.
Stupid cocaine-addicted wife. Not only did she kill someone. She also had to ruin TWO TV shows for millions.
Reading all of these old school Simpsons
quotes makes me feel all warm & fuzzy inside. Being able to quote Grandpa's story that doesn't go anywhere is one of my most prized useless skills.
Even in its prime, I rarely followed the show during its initial run. Somehow, episodes, even ones I hadn't seen before, always seemed better in reruns. So it's hard for me to pin down a single moment where the show went completely off its rocker. I'd guess somewhere around Season 12. The last really great episode I can recall was the one with Mel Gibson.
The single scene I can recall that made me realize the show had become an empty husk of its former self was in some episode where Homer took over Moe's Tavern. Homer tries to be like Fonzie and make the jukebox work by hitting it. Instead, he breaks the glass and his hand bleeds profusely all over the place. Apparantly, this was the best the episode could come up with, since this was the scene that FOX played over & over in its ads.
Ultimately, the show lost its soul when it became simply about watching Homer injure/humiliate himself, rather than about his good-hearted (if ill-advised) attempts to make things right.