Marge decides to throw a dinner party after realizing how lazy and slovenly her family has become, but the party turns awkward when Kirk and Luann van Houten (Milhouse's parents) begin bickering and Luann announces that she wants to divorce Kirk, who is happy to oblige. While Milhouse is taking the divorce (and the fact that Luann has a new boyfriend who used to be an American Gladiator) well, Homer begins to worry when he sees Kirk's life circle the drain now that his wife is gone and fears that Homer will suffer the same fate with Marge.
"A Milhouse Divided" contains examples of:
- Broken Aesop: Kirk and Luane Van Houten's divorce in was all just one big aesop about Homer needing to respect his wife, which is what Kirk tells Homer after losing his home, his job, and his car. But the way losing Luanne caused those was utterly contrived: he lost his home because he apparently got absolutely nothing in the divorce settlement, he was fired for being single, and his car was stolen by a woman he met on the rebound (which was his fault, but was more general incompetence as he was dumb enough to hand over his keys to someone he just met while waiting in a bar).
- Downer Ending: Even after Kirk's heartfelt song, Luann still rejects him and has her boyfriend kick him out of the Simpson house.
- Oh Crap: Kirk explains to Homer the signs of a potential divorce depends on the food you eat. One minute you are eating a delicious meal, the next you are thawing hot dogs in a sink. When Homer goes home he finds hot dogs thawing on the kitchen sink, so he obviously freaks out.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: This episode could have been a lot better if, oh, I don't know, it focused on Milhouse dealing with his parents' divorce. Having it be yet another "Homer worries about his marriage to Marge, only to find that Marge loves him no matter what" was a major screw to the audience, and a lot of fans will point to this episode as one of many reasons why this show has gone downhill.
- What Could Have Been: According to the DVD commentary, the episode was supposed to have Bart try and separate Homer and Marge after learning that divorced kids get more sympathy from others than kids with married parents.