Recap / The Simpsons S 14 E 9 Strong Arms Of The Ma

After Marge gets mugged by a hobo outside of the Kwik-E-Mart's bathroom, she turns into a recluse afraid to even leave her own basement. Eventually, she becomes bored, and starts turning to weight lifting (from some weights Homer bought at Rainier Wolfcastle's bankruptcy sale) to pass the time. After gaining the courage to go outside and beating up the hobo who mugged her, she becomes a bodybuilder, thanks to her old friend, Ruth Powers, who went to jail, got addicted to bodybuilding and steroids, and became Miss Mexican Mafia.

This is the true 300th episode of the show, even though Fox promoted the 302nd episode, "Barting Over", as the 300th.

Tropes featured:

  • Amazonian Beauty: Marge becomes one in the third act. However, with her steroid abuse later on, she becomes a...
  • Broke the Rating Scale: During an attempt by the family to help Marge overcome her agoraphobia, she is told to describe her anxiety level using a number from one to ten. However, while Homer attempts to get rid of a beehive, Marge says "12," then "15". When the swarm of bees attack the family, Marge screams, "703!"
  • Chekhov's Gun: Rainier Wolfcastle's first weight set. Homer buys it at the start of the episode, and while confined to the basement due to her agoraphobia, Marge uses it to work out and pass the time, which causes her to conquer her agoraphobia, run into the mugger and beat him senseless.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: After bulking up, Marge has sex with Homer (who is clearly scared and doesn't want to) violently enough that it hurts to walk the next morning. It's played for laughs, with Marge never apologizing or repenting, and getting away with it.
  • From Bad to Worse: The family attempts to simulate the Kwik-E-Mart experience at home to ease Marge back into going outside, but it ends up making her agoraphobia even worse than before, driving her into the basement.
  • She Who Fights Monsters: Marge's decision to bulk up is prompted by a thug robbing her, which leads to an epic Curb-Stomp Battle when she catches up with the thug. That said, she ends up becoming an aggressive bully.
  • Hypocrite: Discussed when Marge initially refuses to take drugs due to her noting that it'd make a hypocrite out of her anti-drug bumper sticker-laden tail gate. She ends up taking the drugs anyway after succumbing to peer pressure from Ruth.
  • "I Know You're In There Somewhere" Talk: Homer tries to talk down a raging Marge in Moe's Tavern after she was done beating up all the men in the bar. She has a Heel Realization and steps down.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The mugger who stole Marge's pearls and gave her agoraphobia as a result ends up on the receiving end of being beaten up by Marge when she runs into him later.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The four Playdude centerfold models that Rainier has at the bankruptcy sale.
  • No Guy Wants an Amazon: Bart's reaction after seeing the "Iron Maidens."
    Bart: Ay caramba. I'm off women forever.
  • Police Are Useless: When Marge catches the thug herself, Chief Wiggum blames his coworkers about not catching the thief themselves.
  • Ripping Off the String of Pearls: The hobo who mugs Marge outside the Kwik-E-Mart threatens her with a gun and grabs her necklace. The necklace rips and the beads scatter as he runs off.
  • Second Place Is for Losers: Marge gets second place in the Iron Maiden competition which leads to this conversation.
    Marge: From now on, I'm going to up my carbo load, use a denser ripping gel—
    Homer: Denser?
    Marge: *slams her fist down* Damn straight! I didn't sacrifice my period for second place!
  • Shout-Out: When Marge started taking steroids, the theme song for Popeye started being heard.
    • Marge beating up the mugger is nearly a shot-for-shot recreation from the scene in The Godfather in which Sonny beats up his sister's abusive husband.
    • During the Tetris sequence, music from the Game Boy version of the game plays, followed by a fanfare from the Nintendo Entertainment System version when Homer realises he left no room in the car for himself.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: When Ned tells Rainier Wolfcastle he doesn't think it's right that he try to sell four Playdude centerfolds, Moe tells him to shut up and they head off with him.
  • Stock Footage: The entire "Eye on Springfield" intro is reused from the episode "Flaming Moe's". Needless to say, to go from Season 3 animation to Season 14 animation is jarring.
  • The Tetris Effect: Homer uses his experience in playing Tetris to fit everything he bought in Rainier Wolfcastle's bankruptcy sale and his family in the car. Unfortunately, he forgot to include himself in the equation.
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