Let's not romanticize the show's earlier "sell-out" days. (Says the guy with a username named after the Bart rap song.
I think the best quote of all time came in season 17 episode 11 We're On The Road To D'ohwhere.
Marge (answering machine): Homer I hope you get this, I'm in jail and I need $10,000 bail. Hurry!
Homer (answering machine): Ehh Marge, me and Bart got in a fight with this really uncool pit boss, and now we're in a Nevada state prison. Also I don't know where Bart is. If you see him say hey.
Lisa: Well Maggie, I always knew it would someday boil down to just you and me; I'll look for work in the morning.
To me that quote was genius and overall that show was one of the best. You'll probably give me some snide remark saying how this quote sucks and some other quote is better, but I think it shows how they've been able to maintain a high level of quality over the years.
Then what exactly makes seasons 1-8 so damn good? Not to say I don't like them, but I just don't see why those seasons are put on some kind of a pedestal?
the simpsons sucks, family guy is where it's at