Recap / The Simpsons S 2 E 20 The War Of The Simpsons

When Marge throws a dinner party, Homer gets drunk and makes a fool of himself (even going as far as tricking Maude Flanders into digging for nuts so he can ogle her cleavage) and Marge forces Homer to explain to Bart what he did and go on a marriage retreat (which Homer wants to abandon so he can go after a legendary catfish). Meanwhile, after their regular babysitter freaks out over memories of Bart trying to run her over with the family car, Grampa Simpson steps in to care for the kids — and Bart and Lisa take advantage of the old man by making him do whatever they want (eat ice cream instead of dinner, smoke cigars, drink coffee, and have a wild party).


  • Absolute Cleavage: Maude Flanders sports good-looking cleavage in her red dress. Indeed, a drunk Homer tricks her into digging for nuts so he can ogle her cleavage. The next day, in church, when Maude sees Homer looking for Marge, she hastily checks to make sure her blouse is fully buttoned.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: When Marge and Homer go to couples counseling, another couple is shown bickering, and throwing mean, petty insults at eachother. Then Lovejoy asks them to look into each others' eyes...
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    Marge: (trying to lift a drunk Homer off the floor) I've never been so embarrassed in all my life!
    Homer: Why? Whatcha do?
    (Drops Homer in annoyance, who then pass out)
  • Compressed Vice: Homer's obsession with fishing pretty much begins and ends in this episode.
  • Expy: The feuding couple at the marriage retreat are caricatures of George and Martha from Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?.
  • Fly in the Soup: Homer puts a fake ice cube with a fly inside on Dr. Hibbert's drink. Hibbert lectures Homer on the dangerous chemicals in the plastic cube, noting that a real fly would have been safer. Though Homer doesn't listen because he's too busy laughing at how much he fooled Dr. Hibbert.
  • Harping on About Harpies: The husband of the feuding couple at the marriage retreat repeatedly refers to his wife as the Queen of the Harpies.
  • Hypocrite: Marge gets annoyed at Homer for mentioning a single, minor thing about her that he doesn't like, but has no problem lauching into a list of things she hates about him several hours long.
  • Jerk Ass Has A Point: Marge is right to be mad at Homer for his idiocy. She rightfully explains why he's a terrible husband.
  • Lampshade Wearing: Homer briefly wears a lampshade at the party.
  • Long List: When Lovejoy asks everyone to say what they don't like about their partners, Homer mentions one minor thing that annoys Marge. However when it's Marge's turn, she ends up rattling off a list so long it takes several hours to finish (Lovejoy actually says the day's been wasted and asks the couples to go to bed) and leaves her with a hoarse voice. Even then that's only what she can remember at that point in time.
  • Noodle Incident: A drunken Homer tells Bart to do that "cute thing". Bart doesn't know what that is, so he tells him to go to his room.
  • Off-Model: This episode contains the infamous animation error where Ned's nose disappears, his shirt collar overlaps his neck, and part of his neck disappears.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: During the babysitter's flashback of baby Bart nearly running her over.
  • Refuse to Rescue the Disliked: Discussed. When Dr. Hibbert leaves the party, he notices the position Homer is laying down and tells Marge how to change it if she wants him to live. Dr. Hibbert then reiterates that he means "if".
  • Shrouded in Myth: Homer becomes a local legend for almost catching General Sherman, and starts getting this treatment.
  • Shout-Out: Homer's battle with General Sherman is similar to The Old Man and the Sea.
    Homer: (punching General Sherman) I love you! But I must kill you!
  • Signature Laugh: Arguably the first usage of Nelson's iconic "ha ha!", though it's a little bit different here.
  • Signs of Disrepair: Bart rearranges the finger sandwich platter Marge laid out for the party, which are arranged to read "Enjoy our party snacks", so that it now reads "Boy, our party sucks."
  • Stealth Insult: Bart's response to Homer explaining his drunken behaviour of the previous night.
    Homer: I'm sorry it happened, and I just hope you didn't lose a lot of respect for me.
    Bart: Dad, I have as much respect for you as I ever did or ever will.
    Homer: Awww. (pats Bart's head)
  • Therapy Backfire: Reverend Lovejoy invites Homer and Marge to a couples' retreat to try to help with their marriage. Homer is completely disinterested in getting help, and Marge wastes an entire day of the retreat giving off the absurdly Long List of things that bother her about Homer (and Lovejoy, before telling people to go to bed, can just say that it's the first time he's agreed 100% with only one member of the couple, that being Marge).
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Marge wakes up to find him sneaking to go fishing. She gets angry and berates him, telling him they're trying to save their marriage. Then she calls him out for still thinking about fishing even when she's talking to him.
    Homer: Is it the time to be honest?
    Marge: (imagined as a fish person) Yes!
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Grampa finally gets the kids to behave and clean up their mess by pretending to cry so that they'll feel sorry for him.