The Best Flanders Episodes of The Simpsons

Ned Flanders has lived next door to The Simpsons for so long that he’s often been the star of many episodes. Over the years, we’ve learned there’s a lot more to Ned Flanders than his devout Christian ways. Here are the best Flanders episodes of The Simpsons. Mind you, I’ve limited this to episodes in which Flanders plays a central role in the episode, not just a supporting cameo.

15
of 15

To Surveil, with Love

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Springfield installs surveillance cameras (like London) after a bomb scare, and Flanders ends up in charge of it. In a rare moment of corruption, Flanders becomes Big Brother. A defiant Homer finds a spot in his backyard where the cameras can’t see and breaks all of Flanders’ rules. This episode became even more prescient after the Edward Snowden leaks. 

14
of 15

Black-Eyed Please

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We knew that Flanders could succumb to violent instincts as a few other episodes on this list show. There’s only so much Homer Simpson you can take, and in this episode, he actually takes a swing at Homer and gives him a black eye. To make it even worse, Homer won’t hit back. He figures out that he can be the better man and hold it over Flanders’ head. This episode also gives us a glimpse at Ned and Edna Krabappel in bed together (see below), a song “Hey Diddly, Hell Diddly” and the line “I’m insisting on a fisting!” 

13
of 15

Bull-E

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A timely episode due to the rash of school bullying incidents in real life, Springfield passes an anti-bullying law and Homer gets sent to a sensitivity course. When Homer actually reforms, Ned refuses to forgive him. It takes Homer actually practicing true repentance, kneeling biblical style on the Flanders lawn, for Ned to accept his apology. It’s nice to see Flanders rub off on Homer, at least briefly. 

12
of 15

When Flanders Failed

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This is the classic episode in which Flanders opened The Leftorium in the mall, a store devoted to left-handed accessories for left handed people. At first, Homer enjoys the schadenfreude of watching The Leftorium go bankrupt, but when he hears a bunch of lefties lamenting how hard it is to use right handed stuff, he can’t help but send the customers Ned’s way. The Leftorium would remain the Flanders family business ever since. 

11
of 15

Homer and Ned's Hail Mary Pass

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The hook of this episode was Homer’s celebration dance videos and cameos from famous athletes (it aired after a Super Bowl). Homer’s viral video success inspires Flanders to make his own biblical movies, seemingly inspired by the intensity of The Passion of the Christ. It’s a great spoof of The Passion, and The Simpsons called it. Faith-based movies have become big business ever since.

10
of 15

A Streetcar named Marge

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This is where we learn that Flanders is ripped underneath that green sweater. Marge is cast as Blanch Dubois in a musical version of A Streetcar Named Desire, with Flanders as Stanley Kowalski. This is one of many Simpsons musical renditions of a movie with catchy tunes. They actually got in trouble with the City of New Orleans for their opening number. 

09
of 15

I’m Goin’ to Praiseland

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One year after the death of his wife Maude Flanders, Ned tries dating again. Poor Christian Rock singer Rachel Jordan ends up getting the Maude haircut, this after sleeping around Maude’s year-old indent in the bed. Faced with really getting rid of Maude’s stuff, Ned finds her sketches for a faith-based amusement park and tries to build it in her honor. Praiseland doesn’t last, nor does his relationship with Rachel. 

08
of 15

Viva Ned Flanders

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In this one, we learn that Ned is actually 60 years old! Clean living keeps him looking younger than Homer. Trying to get show Ned a wild good time, Homer takes him to Las Vegas but gets in over their heads when they drunkenly marry two showgirls. There’s a great Viva Las Vegas chase through the casino and the “floozies” have shown up again in later episodes.

07
of 15

Alone Again Natura-Diddly

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The title of this episode was a spoiler. It was supposed to be a surprise who died on The Simpsons. Maude was killed off due to a contract dispute with Marcia Mitzman Gaven, since resolved but poor Maude was a permanent casualty. Even though the episode is about Ned mourning, they keep it funny, mainly because the rest of Springfield is so bad at being sensitive. We also get a crotch shot of Ned in the shower, tastefully pixelated, and impressively large! Interesting to note that the dent in the bed Ned shows to Rachel in “Praiseland” is not visible in this episode. 

06
of 15

Home Sweet Homediddly-Dum-Doodily

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After a series of misunderstandings leads Child Services to declare Homer and Marge unfit parents, the Flanderses foster Bart, Lisa and Maggie. In addition to the culture clash of The Simpson kids in the Flanders home, Ned tries to “save” the kids and plans a baptism. Only at the last minute, Homer jumps in front of the baptism for Bart in a classic moment of religious satire. 

05
of 15

Bart of Darkness

This entire episode was a spoof of Rear Window. Bart breaks his leg at a pool party and takes to spying on the neighbors. He thinks he sees Ned Flanders kill Maude, but no one will believe him. The explanation is appropriately ridiculous and utterly believable as classic Ned.

04
of 15

The Ned-Liest Catch

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Getting Ned Flanders and Edna Krabappel together was a stroke of genius. Both characters had had their share of rocky relationships, Ned after losing his wife and Edna with Principal Skinner. This match wouldn’t be easy, with Edna’s history of dating Springfield’s men and Ned’s puritanical beliefs. It was a satisfying moment when Edna stood up for herself against Ned’s judgement. The audience voted for whether or not “Nedna” would stay together, and I’m glad they decided they would. Even with Marcia Wallace gone, we still see images of Edna and Ned together. 

03
of 15

Hurricane Neddy

In this brilliant religious parable, Ned Flanders begins to feel like Job when his house is the only one destroyed by a hurricane, despite his living according to the good book (“even the stuff that contradicted all the other stuff,” one of my favorite lines.) He finally loses it when his neighbors incompetently try to build him a new house, and we learn the root of his extreme niceness is due to his negligent parents. 

02
of 15

Homer loves Flanders

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This reversal was another stroke of narrative genius. Homer and Ned had been rivals for so long, it turned out getting Homer to like Ned was a curse. Hanging out together, Homer breaks the Flanders pool table and crashes his boat into a car. Going to a football game, Homer orders a nacho hat with the cheese in the middle, singing the song, “Nacho, nacho man. I want to be a nacho man.” Fortunately, Homer’s memory only lasts a week and by the following episode they are enemies again.

01
of 15

Dead Putting Society

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This is maybe the dumbest rivalry in Simpson/Flanders history and it starts for even sillier reasons. Homer is a bad guest when the Flanders invite the Simpsons over, but taking the high road, Flanders tries to patch things up in a letter. The Simpsons make fun of Flanders’ sincere sadness in his bosom. (“Read the bosom part again, Dad!”) Homer ends up pitting Bart and Todd Flanders against each other at mini golf, but I’m still laughing about “bosom.”