It's not unusual for even the best TV shows to hang on past their freshness date--sorry, ''Simpsons.'' We pinpoint when it and some other faves could have quit, uh, heroically, from ''Heroes'' to (we'll say it) ''The Wire''
The Ideal End: Aping the format of VH1's Behind the Music, the ''Behind the Laughter'' episode brilliantly portrayed the true story of The Simpsons: they're all actors playing themselves. It's a brilliant parody of the rise-and-fall-and-rise celebrity narrative, and features a nonstop array of one-liners. ''The dream was over. Coming up: Was the dream really over? Yes it was. Or was it?''
Badness Avoided: Yes, it was. There are plenty of bright spots in The Simpsons' second decade, but the show has never really rediscovered its '90s mojo. You can trace the problems right to this episode: Once you go meta, it's hard to go back. Darren Franich
Image Credit: Fox