Episode - 3F01
First Aired - 10/1/1995The local child welfare office unfairly takes the Simpson kids out of their home (after Bart catches lice from Milhouse's pet monkey, Lisa gets her prescription shoes taken by some bullying girls and bites her tongue after someone hits her with a soccer ball, and Marge and Homer go to a spa and leave Grampa to let the house go to pot) and puts them in foster care — with Ned and Maude Flanders. While Homer and Marge are forced to take parenting classes, Bart and Lisa worry that Maggie may love the Flanders family more than The Simpsons.This is the first episode featuring Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein as showrunners; they took over the job from David Mirkin, the showrunner for seasons 5 and 6.
- Adult Fear: Due to several misunderstandings, child welfare accused Homer and Marge of negligence and their children are taken away from them. It was particularly heartbreaking when Homer and Marge wander in their house to each of their kids' empty bedrooms. And when Marge and Homer heard Bart's signature ring, they rushed down to the front door, faces joyful, only to see nobody was there.
- Bait and Switch: The Simpsons were told Bart, Lisa and Maggie would be taken to a place where Homer and Marge would never see them again. Then they're left at the next door house (which actually is a violation on the 100-foot restraining order Homer and Marge were given against their own children).
- Big "NO!": When Homer sees Ned is about to baptize his children.Ned: Do you reject Satan, and all his empty promises?Homer: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! (skin burns on contact with holy water)
- Bowdlerization: When the episode first aired, Milhouse tells Bart that he found the monkey that gave Bart lice in a wicker basket from Pier One. When the company complained about the joke, the reruns had the line changed to "We got the wicker basket from Trader Pete's." On DVD, overseas markets (as Pier One isn't known outside of America), and the "Every Simpsons Ever" marathon on FXX (as well as normal cable reruns on that channel), the "Pier One" line is used.
- Entertainingly Wrong: A combination of bullying, monkeys, and Grandpa's senility result in Homer and Marge being mistaken for bad parents.
- Fun with Acronyms: After Marge passes her drug test again (the first time she failed because the test mistakenly had her tested positive for crack and PCP), she says "The only thing I'm 'high' on is love. Love for my Son and Daughter. Yup, a little LSD is all I need."
- Holy Burns Evil: Homer takes a baptism for his kids to keep them from becoming Flanderses. It doesn't seem to do any lasting damage (except make Homer peaceful and knowledgeable of religious events, like St. Augustine of Hippo being converted by Ambrose of Milan), but the sound effect and Homer's demonic growl fit pretty well.
- I'm Cold... So Cold...: When Bart is discovered to have head lice on class picture day (as a result of playing with a monkey Milhouse found), he comments "Nothing ever happens to Milhouse." We then see Milhouse standing there pale, wrapped in a blanket, muttering "So cold, so very, very cold."
- Road Trip Across the Street: The social worker drives Bart, Lisa and Maggie the few feet from the Simpsons house to the Flanders'.
- Society Marches On: The Flanders' car has a bumper sticker reading "I ♥ YOUR KIDS" - fine for the joke they're telling in the episode, but these days, that'd be read as something else entirely.
- Took a Level in Jerkass:
- Grandpa. He's confronted about being left with the kids for a few hours and getting them taken away and just says "Oh bitch bitch bitch!" and walks off.
- Ned Flanders, he forcibly tries to baptize Bart, Lisa and Maggie and calls Homer and Marge bad parents because they never baptized the kids.
- Vertigo Effect: When the social worker announces to Bart, Lisa, and Maggie that they're being taken to "a FOSTER HOOOOOOME!".