Episode - 7G04\\
First Aired - 1/28/1990
After being humiliated at a company picnic, Homer forces Marge and the kids to be more well-behaved, but after nearly getting caught spying on the neighbors, Homer decides to pawn the TV and pay for a session with Dr. Marvin Monroe.
!!This episode contains examples of:
* AccidentalMisnaming: When Mr. Burns is greeting the Simpsons.
-->'''Mr. Burns:''' And this must be, uh... (''glances at flash card given by Smithers'') Brat.
-->'''Homer:''' Don't correct the man, Brat.
* BadBoss: Mr. Burns seems to have designed his company picnic as more of a means to weed out employees he doesn't like rather than host a pleasant evening for them. He fires a man just on the suspicion that he doesn't have a happy family, forces every father and son to take part in a potato sack race that is arranged for him to win, and threatens to release the hounds on everyone once the event is over.
* BigBlackout: The family members apply so many electric shocks at each other at Dr. Marvin Monroe's therapy that they take the power from the city.
* BrickJoke: The "perfect" family that Homer idolizes at the beginning of the episode is later seen at Dr. Marvin Monroe's center all angrily looking away from each other. Looks like they weren't as good a family as Homer thought they were.
* CantHoldHerLiquor: At the company picnic, Marge--who admits she's "not much of a drinker"--joins the other wives for a glass of punch. IntoxicationEnsues.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: Homer's most popular characterization as a crude, clumsy, lazy, ignorant man, with alcoholic tendencies, makes this an ''extremely'' odd episode to watch, especially for those who have ''never'' seen the show in its early days. He is embarrassed by his family's boorish behavior, including Marge getting drunk at his boss's party, and takes them to family therapy. If this was written after the first season, the roles would undoubtedly be reversed. Adding to this, ''Homer sells the TV'' in order to pay for the therapy; again, something he'd never even ''contemplate'' doing post-season one. While Homer is somewhat called out on it later that episode, since most of the things he was ashamed of them doing were ''his'' fault in the first place, he shows a lot more devotion to his family here than in later seasons.
** Homer's brief quotation of his mother made her out to be just as bitter and verbally abusive as his father (who hadn't even completely settled into that characterization yet) instead of the loving but [[ParentalNeglect neglectful]] CoolOldLady they will eventually introduce.
* ContrivedClumsiness: Bart shocks Lisa and claims that "My finger slipped". Lisa shocks him back and says "So did mine".
* DisproportionateRetribution: Mr. Burns fires a man because his son remarked that he had to miss ball practice.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: ''In spades''. As noted in the commentary, ''everything'' about the episode is wrong compared to what the show soon became, with Homer being the one embarrassed by his family's antics being the most glaring (as usually this is a characteristic more appropriate for Marge or Lisa). Bart and Maggie (and maybe some of the ancillary characters, like Moe, Mr. Burns, Dr. Monroe, and the two cops, Eddie and Lou) are the only ones whose personalities aren't altered.
* ElectricTorture: As a last resort, Dr. Monroe hooks up the Simpsons to electrical devices that enable each member to shock the other. Monroe meant it as a form of aversion therapy, but the Simpsons just keep shocking each other indiscriminately.
* EscalatingWar: What the shock therapy ultimately degrades into. Bart at first shocks Homer [[ItAmusedMe for the fun of it]], then Lisa, with both retaliating in kind. Quickly the whole family just start frantically shocking one another in a petty fight.
* HypocriticalHumor: More in sync with his later characterisation, the episode frequently notes a lot of the family woes Homer is embarrassed about are caused by ''him''.
* IdenticalStranger: A whole family of identical strangers to the Simpsons (only much more kempt) are seen exiting Marvin Monroe's office, with the Homer lookalike even spouting Homer's old CatchPhrase ("Let's all go out for some frosty chocolate milkshakes"). Homer takes this as a sign that Monroe knows his stuff. Earlier in the episode, [[FreezeFrameBonus they can briefly be seen in the background]] at Mr. Burns' company picnic.
* IllFatedFlowerbed: Homer does this, with a twist, while taking his family on a peeking tour of the neighborhood's houses.
--> Bart: Whoa, look at this place. What a dump.
--> Homer: That's what you think. I just trampled this poor sap's flower bed. (laughs)
--> Marge: Homer, this is our house.
--> Homer: D'oh!
* MadLibsCatchPhrase: This episode marks the first time Homer says "Mmm, [food item]...".
* MissedHimByThatMuch: Eddie and Lou were searching for "a family of peeping toms" (the Simpsons looking at other house windows). Their search dog was growling at Homer, who says he had wieners on him. So they leave, dragging their dog with them.
* NotSoAboveItAll: Despite his insistence that he's the OnlySaneMan in his family, Homer frequently displays his own failings. He reacts with angered violence towards his children's quips, fails to pay attention to the counseling he forced the rest of the family to go through, and abuses the shock therapy with the rest of his family.
%%* OutOfCharacterMoment: Even compared to the previous three episodes, Lisa and Marge (''especially'' Marge) feel... off.
* PapaWolf: While Homer was embarrassed by his family, he will not let anyone insult them. A drunken Barney did so, causing a barfight between them.
** This is the first time Mr. Burns mentions releasing "the hounds" and the first time that he has to consult Smithers on who Homer is. Though the latter is probably justified since Burns doesn't seem to care to know the names of ALL his employees.
** This episode is notably the ''last'' proper appearance of Homer's CatchPhrase "Let's all go out for some frosty chocolate milkshakes", a RunningGag from the ''[[Series/TheTraceyUllmanShow Tracey Ullman]]'' era. Every time the show has referenced the line since, it has been a CallBack to how [[EarlyInstallmentWeirdness old and weird]] it is.
* TherapyBackfire: The episode has Homer insist the family go to a therapy session. They all blame him (although this might have been annoyance at [[EarlyInstallmentWeirdness him having sold their TV to pay for it]]).
* WheelOfFeet: [[https://frinkiac.com/gif/S01E04/671559/672560/ Bart and Lisa do this]] when running away from a house with the rest of their family.
* WindowWatcher: Homer takes the whole family out on a Window Watching escapade in order to demonstrate to them that their family's personal interactions aren't normal.
* WouldHurtAChild: At least one member of the family targeted one year old Maggie in the shock therapy session.