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Recap: The Simpsons S 6 E 11 Fear Of Flying
Episode - 2F08
First Aired - 12/18/1994

Homer gets banned from Moe's Tavern after playing a lame prank, and uses an airport bar as his new watering hole, but when Homer is mistaken for a pilot and causes an accident, the head of the airline pays him off with a vacation to anywhere in the United States (except for freak states, Alaska and Hawaii). However, the trip is short-lived, when Marge has a mental breakdown before the flight. Marge assures the family that she's fine, but when her erratic behavior begins freaking out the family, Marge goes into therapy to find out why she's afraid of flying.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Analogy Backfire: Homer insists to Lisa that Marge's therapist will convince her to divorce Homer, the family will break up, and Lisa will have to live with her grandmother and pick beans for a living. Lisa states she likes picking beans with grandma, and a miffed Homer tries to get the last word in.
  • Freudian Excuse: Marge's fear of flying comes from seeing her father as a male flight attendant (steward). This is followed by a montage of other traumatic plane-related incidents.
    • Series Continuity Error and Compressed Vice: Marge wasn't afraid of flying when the family flew to Washington, D.C. in "Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington." Also, her father looks different than the one from "The Way We Was" (the episode that tells the story of how Homer and Marge met in high school) and in "Bart the Lover," Marge said that her father was in the navy and had a job as a baby photographer (which he lost due to his constant cursing), though Marge's mom could have tried to cover up her husband's airline job as a male flight attendant from Marge until she could come up with a believable lie about his job (in the episode, Marge's mom tells her that her father was a pilot).
  • Gay Bar Reveal: Humorously subverted when Homer goes to a very obviously lesbian bar after getting banned from Moe's:
    Homer: Wait a minute...there's something bothering me about this place...[looks around] I know! This lesbian bar doesn't have a FIRE EXIT! Enjoy your deathtrap, ladies!
    Lesbian: What's her problem?
  • Identical Stranger: Guy Incognito, who looks exactly like Homer except with a mustache, and sounds almost exactly like him, except with an upper-class kind of voice. Homer is amazed until he sees a dog with a puffy tail.
  • In Memoriam: The DVD cut of this episode ends with David Mirkin announcing that the crew had learned of Anne Bancroft's passing. On behalf of everyone, he offers condolences and words of gratitude.
  • It's All About Me: Homer was completely against Marge going to therapy because he believed that he would be blamed for all of Marge's problems. Sure enough, Homer tries spying on Marge's sessions and makes demands that she tell him what they discussed. Of course, Homer is actually correct because Dr. Zweig truly believes Marge needs to talk about how Homer treats her.
  • My Beloved Smother: A Freudian Slip from Skinner is the Trope Namer.
  • Sanity Slippage: Marge begins acting strangely from not talking about her phobia, which includes being up at 3 in the morning cooking and doing roof repairs, insisting the cat and dog need to be married, and keeping herself in a state of "catlike readiness." Homer finally concedes to Marge seeing a therapist when it's pointed out she's sitting in mid air watching an airplane disaster movie.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Homer visits the bar from the TV sitcom Cheers, where the main cast (except Kelsey Grammer) voices their characters from the show.
    • Homer tries to cure Marge by giving her some "films about air travel" with "upbeat titles": Hero, Fearless and Alive.
    • Marge and her mother fleeing from a plane in a cornfield is a reference to North by Northwest.
    • Marge's dream casts her family in Lost in Space, earning a disapproving comment from the therapist that she's "infringed on any number of copyrights".
    • When Marge finishes her therapy, she says "Thank you Doctor, whenever I hear the wind blow, I'll hear the name Lowenstein, Lowenstein...", a reference to The Prince Of Tides. The fact that the therapist's name is Zweig doesn't stop her.
  • Special Guest: Anne Bancroft as Dr. Zweig; Ted Danson as Sam Malone; Woody Harrelson as Woody Boyd; Rhea Perlman as Carla Tortelli; John Ratzenberger as Cliff Clavin; George Wendt as Norm Peterson
    • Bancroft's husband Mel Brooks accompanied her to the recordings, with her saying "I can't get rid of him!" This led to Brooks getting his own appearance.
  • The Voiceless: Frasier Crane during the Cheers segment. According to the DVD Commentary, they just couldn't work out a time where Kelsey Grammer could've recorded some lines for this episode.
  • What Happened to the Mouse? and They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The writers completely forgot about Homer's quest to find a new bar after getting banned from Moe's. In fact, a lot of viewers (especially the ones from snpp.com) stated that the "Homer tries to find a new bar" plotline would have made a better episode than Marge going to therapy for her fear of flying.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Marge admits to her fear of flying and later says everyone has something they're afraid of.
    Homer: (smugly) Not everyone.
    Marge: Sock puppets.
    Homer: WHERE?!
The Simpsons S 6 E 9 Homer BadmanRecap/The SimpsonsThe Simpsons S 6 E 12 Homer The Great

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