When Fox announced that it would pay tribute to the late Marcia Wallace by re-airing one of her Simpsons character’s greatest episodes, there was only one logical choice: “Bart the Lover,” a gem from season 3 in which Bart plays a cruel prank on his teacher, Edna Krabappel, by answering her personal ad with a series of letters from a fake dreamboat named Woodrow. Like all the best episodes of The Simpsons, “Bart the Lover” is both hilarious and poignant. It also helped Wallace snag an Emmy in 1992. (She was nominated again in 1994 for a guest spot on Murphy Brown.)
But while “Bart the Lover” may be Mrs. Krabappel’s best showcase, it’s certainly not her only one. After all, Wallace voiced Edna in a staggering 178 episodes altogether, as of the new half-hour that will premiere Sunday. (The Simpsons plans to retire her character, though the show hasn’t yet explained how.)
So how can a Simpsons fan honor Springfield Elementary’s most bawdy, jaded, surprisingly sympathetic educator this weekend? First, get the name right; it’s kra-BA-ppel, not Crandall. Second, spend a few hours rewatching these five episodes, which represent the best of Edna. And sorry, “Nedna” fans, whoever you are; nothing about that random pairing makes the cut.