Recap / The Simpsons S 11 E 14 Alone Again Natura Diddily
While enjoying a day at the NASCAR races, Homer's shirtless antics inadvertently cause the death of Ned Flanders' wife, Maude, and Flanders begins losing faith when Homer bungles his way to helping his depressed neighbor.

Tropes featured:

  • 21-Gun Salute: In honor of the way Maude died, there's a twenty-one T-shirt-gun salute at her funeral.
  • Call-Back:
  • Continuity Cavalcade: Maude's funeral. In addition to the above Call Backs by Reverend Lovejoy, we also see the gravestones of Bleeding Gums Murphy, Dr. Marvin Monroe, Bea Simmons, and Frank Grimes.
  • Credits Gag: During the credits that run underneath the first sequence of the episode, the writer credit is larger than ususal, timed to appear after Lisa comes across a tree with initials carved on it and wonders, "Why do jerks think everyone wants to see their stupid name?"
  • Despair Event Horizon: Maude's death in the episode nearly destroyed Ned to a point that he momentarily refused to attend church because he believed that God punished him for no reason and ruined his life.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Ned's endowment (which could be interpreted as either Homer using video special effects to entice women who watch his dating video or Ned actually having a large penis).
  • Gilligan Cut: Ned tells his sons he won't attend church, saying "I'm going to sit right here and miss church. You just watch." Cut to Ned hurriedly driving, saying "Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry!"
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In Reverend Lovejoy's eulogy for Maude.
    Reverend Lovejoy: In many ways, Maude Flanders was a supporting player in our lives. She didn't grab our attention with memorable catchphrases, or comical accents.
    Groundskeeper Willie: Aye...
    Captain McCallister: Yaar...
    Professor Frink: Oh, glaven, why, glaven?
    Lovejoy: But, whether you noticed her or not, Maude was always there... and we thought she always would be. My friends, life is about change. Just yesterday, Apu was a lonely bachelor.
    Apu: (holding octuplets) Yes, thank God those days are over.
    Lovejoy: (continuing) And the Van Houtens were enjoying a storybook marriage.
    Kirk Van Houten: Yeah, lots of storybooks have witches.
    Pyro: Shut up, Kirk!
    Kirk: Sorry...
  • Parting Words Regret: Flanders regrets telling his wife "No foot longs" instead of "I love you" or something more meaningful.
  • Pixellation: When Flanders is filmed taking a shower.
  • Single Tear: Homer sheds one after he's told he has to start being nicer to Ned due to Maude's death.
  • Tonight, Someone Dies: The promos for "Alone Again, Natura-Diddily" literally asked: "Who will die?", and proceeding to list off a bunch of potential victims. Unfortunately, word got out before the episode aired that Maude would be the unfortunate one, so these promos didn't generate the expected suspense.
  • Wham Episode: First time in the show that a recurring character is Killed Off for Real.
  • Wipe: While Lisa and Homer are editing Ned's dating video, Homer suggests to use star wipes for every shot. Lisa tries to tell him there are other kinds of wipes than that, but Homer argues, "Why eat hamburger when you can have steak?" As Lisa decides to take her name off the project, what marks the transition to the next shot...? A star wipe!