First Aired - 1/22/1995During one of Marge's self-imposed, weekly family hours, the Simpsons are looking through the photo album. The kids notice that the album doesn't contain any pictures of Maggie, which prompts a Whole Episode Flashback about the events leading up to the youngest Simpson's birth.Some time in the last two years, Homer has finally saved up enough money working at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant to quit; he does so grandly, mocking Mr. Burns and even burning up a wooden bridge as he drives from the building. He then gets his "dream job" at Barney's uncle's bowling alley, explaining to Marge that he's worked out a budget that will allow the family to get by so long as nothing unexpected happens. To celebrate, Homer and Marge have a romantic evening together...In a few weeks, Marge is suffering from morning sickness, and a visit to Dr. Hibbert reveals that she is pregnant. While she quickly tells her children, she's much more reluctant to share the news with Homer, especially after he thanks God for his life being perfect just as it is. Instead, Marge turns to her sisters, who are delighted to hear the news—and even more delighted to learn that Homer would be devastated if he found out about the pregnancy. Marge makes Patty and Selma promise not to tell Homer; instead, they call up the biggest gossips in Springfield, who are quick to spread the word. The Bouviers then arrange a baby shower for Marge right before Homer gets home from work. He finally pieces together what's happening, and throws a screaming fit.Later that evening, Marge and Homer discuss the future: Homer knows that he can't possibly support a third child on his bowling alley paycheck. Marge suggests that he ask for a raise, and while his boss is willing to give it, the alley isn't making enough money to provide for one. Homer then tries to drum up business by wildly firing a gun outside the building and shouting at passerby. This plan fails, and also costs him his dream job. A reluctant Homer knows that there is only one place where he can find work, and goes back to the power plant. Mr. Burns decides to humiliate Homer even further by installing a bleak plaque above his old workstation: "DON'T FORGET: YOU'RE HERE FOREVER." Devastated, Homer returns home and complains to Marge, who tells him that she's begun having contractions.At the hospital, Dr. Hibbert works to deliver the baby as Homer, still depressed, comments on the miracle of "another mouth." Even the child's birth can't rouse his spirits...until a tiny hand reaches out and grabs his thumb. He looks down at Maggie and immediately loves her, taking her into his arms and declaring her "the most beautiful baby girl in the whole world." While he and Marge kiss, Maggie, feeling neglected while mimicking them kissing, reaches off-screen and discovers a familiar pacifier.Back in the present, Lisa is thrilled to hear that the story has a happy ending, but Bart is confused: Homer still hasn't told them why there aren't any pictures of Maggie in the family album. Homer explains that there are plenty of pictures, and that he keeps them "where he needs the most cheering up." The episode cuts to a shot of Homer's workstation, where the walls are plastered with dozens of photos of Maggie—along with the plaque, where they have been arranged to cover the letters to form a new message: "DO IT FOR HER."
This episode contain examples of:
- Bait-and-Switch: At least three examples:
Homer: That's it, I'm going to march right up to Al and say —
- After Homer quits his job and starts looking forward to his "dream job in paradise", we cut to Homer in what appears to be a tropical setting, complete with steel drum music. Then, he declares, "And now, the final phase of my plan," and it is revealed that he's actually at the bowling alley.
- When Patty and Selma decide to call people to tell them about Marge's pregnancy, they open a phone book and start making calls to someone named "A. Aaronson"; the scene fades to the phone book now on its last page, and the sisters saying goodbye to "Mr. Zowkowski," which implies that they've called everyone from A to Z. Patty then remarks that "Aaronson and Zowkowski are the biggest gossips in town," meaning that they only contacted two people.
- When Homer decides to get a raise at the bowling alley:
(Cut to Homer at the alley)
Homer: Steve! I mean, Al!
- Bond Gun Barrel: In the couch gag, Homer reenacts the James Bond gun barrel sequence, albeit in a bit bloody manner.
- Captain Oblivious: Homer towards Marge's pregnancy. First, while Homer is returning home from the bowling alley, Chief Wiggum drives by and compliments him for his "nice work", which is vague enough for Homer to think he is talking about his new job. Then Apu congratulates Homer for the "little bundle of joy", which Homer surmises to be his salary. Next, Moe tells Homer in no uncertain terms that he got Marge pregnant, but Homer believes this is an abstract way of talking about his enjoyment of his job. When he reaches his home, he notices the neighbors have gathered there with presents. He infers that they're showering Marge with "little, tiny, baby-sized gifts", yet he still blows it all off. It isn't until Maude Flanders congratulates Homer on his new job when he finally realises that Marge is pregnant with a third child.
- Comically Missing the Point: Homer when the townspeople congratulate him for the new baby, which gets increasingly obvious.Moe: Hey, Homer! Way to get Marge pregnant. (laughs)
Homer: This is getting very abstract, but thank you. I do enjoy working at the bowling alley.
- Crossing the Burnt Bridge: Homer has to return to the Power Plant to get his job back after humiliating Burns on his way out.
- Did Not Think This Through: Homer quits before he's certain he can get another job.
- "Die Hard" on an X: On the Springfield Nuclear Plant, on Homer's Indulgent Fantasy Segue.
- Evil Brit: One shows up in Homer's fantasy at the beginning.
- Exact Words: Patty and Selma promise not to tell Homer and don't—instead, they tell Springfield's worst gossips, who tell everyone else. To twist the knife further, Patty and Selma even arrange a surprise baby shower for Marge—just before Homer comes home from work.
- Failed a Spot Check: Homer doesn't get why Marge keeps vomiting every morning and doesn't even realize she's pregnant until Maude Flanders tells Homer, "Congratulations on your new job" (referring to his new job working at the bowling alley).
- Hypocritical Humor:
- Homer celebrates quitting from the Power Plant and putting an end to "back-breaking labor" forever. He then gets a job at the bowling alley, which involves much more movement than his job at the plant ever did.
- When Marge forces the family to spend time together instead of watching Knightboat.Marge: Besides, that backtalking boat sets a bad example.
Bart: Sez you, woman.
- Indulgent Fantasy Segue: Homer's flashback begins with him sitting as his workstation, and then suddenly the power cuts out.Evil British Voice: Attention American workers, your plant has been taken over by an all-star team of freelance terrorists.
Homer: Not on my shift!
- Invisible Subtle Difference: When Marge looks through the family photo album:Marge: Here's Bart sleeping. Here he is dozing. Here he is after a visit from the sandman. Ooh, here's nappy time, Bart! Here's a cute one — he's all tuckered out.
- It's All About Me: Zig-zagged with Homer.Homer: Aw, I've never been so miserable in all my life. But I can't take it out on Marge and the kids — I've gotta carry the burden all by myself. [walks in] Hi, honey, how are you?
Marge: Well, actually —
Homer: Aw, I can't go on with this charade any longer! I hate my job, I hate my life, and ever since I found out about this baby, there's been nothing but bad luck.
Marge: My contractions started an hour ago.
Homer: It's just in one ear and out the other with you, isn't it, Marge?
- Kick the Dog: "Don't forget; you're here forever"
- Pet the Dog: Homer changing the plaque to "Do it for her"
- There's also Patty and Selma deliberately arranging for Homer to find out about Marge's pregnancy in the worst way possible; Marge even explicitly says that Homer learning from someone other than her would devastate him.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
- As Homer begins the Whole Episode Flashback: "Listen carefully and my words will shape images as clear as any TV show."
- Before the end of the second act, Bart and Lisa get up to leave, with Bart remarking "Dad, you can't expect us to sit here for 30 minutes straight" and Lisa deciding to get a snack and maybe go to the bathroom. Marge stays on the couch, but spends the break imagining all the products she'd like to buy.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Doctor Hibbert gets a very dark moment when Marge goes to him about her pregnancy, and tells her that if the baby is unwanted, a healthy newborn can reach up to $50,000 on the black market... when Marge reacts in alarm, he covers himself by saying it was just a test.Hibbert: If you'd reacted any differently, you'd be in jail by now. Just a test! (he laughs nervously)
- Narrative Backpedaling:
- Homer begins his story with him thwarting a terrorist attack at the power plant, but Marge forces him to tell the story straight.
- Not only did Homer's head not explode randomly, but his bottom's a little bigger.
- A third instance of the trope was subverted when Homer told the family about his failed attempt to attract customers. Homer shot a rifle in the air while shouting "Bowling here!" Lisa asked Marge to make him "tell the story right" and Marge dejectedly explains "That's what really happened".
- Plot Tailored to the Party: Parodied, as the family watch Knight Boat, who's chasing a set of starfish poachers. As they reach land, the boat points out a convenient nearby canal, much to Bart and Lisa's annoyance.Lisa: Oh, every week, there's a canal.Bart: Or a fjord.Lisa: On an inlet.Homer: QUIET! I will not hear another word against the boat!
- Pun: When Homer goes to the power plant to get his old job back, he's forced to crawl through a hole labeled "supplicants". He enters Mr. Burns's office on his hands and knees, dusty and coughing.Burns: So. Come crawling back, eh?
- Present Day Past: The character designs don't change for the flashback (Homer's extra hair aside). Apparently Bart and Lisa's appearance didn't change at all between the ages of eight/six and ten/eight respectively.
- Pursue the Dream Job: Homer pays off his debts and quits his stressful job at the power plant, and starts working at the bowling alley, which was his long-time dream, apparently.
- Series Continuity Error:
- This episode dates Maggie's birth at around 1993 note , which would place it during season four.
- An enourmous one. The two times Homer reacted to Marge being pregnant with Bart and Lisa were vastly different than what was shown on "I Married Marge"note and "Lisa's First Word."note
- Not only that, but Homer runs past a framed picture of Lisa on the stairs both times!
- Shout-Out: Homer's fantasy in the beginning parodies Die Hard, complete with an Evil Brit villain who sounds like Alan Rickman.
- Knight Boat, the show the family's watching, is obviously patterned after Knight Rider.
- Trees into Toothpicks: Homer wonders what happens to bowling pins after they get swept away. It turns out an automated assembly line throws out the used pins and makes new ones out of one fully-grown tree each.
- Unreliable Narrator:
- Bart hijacks the story and causes Homer's head to explode. Homer takes over and has to be corrected about his missing head and gut size.
- Lisa accuses Homer of this when he tells them about his brilliant marketing strategy involving randomly firing a shotgun into the air. Marge laments that's what really happened.
- Weird Weather: Homer is going back to the Nuclear Plant to get his old job back, having to give up his dream job of working in a bowling alley, in order to support his now five member family. When he left the bowling alley, they gave him a satin jacket as a souvenir. As he trudges towards the plant, an acid rain shower hits him, disintegrating the jacket but leaving everything else untouched.