Recap: The Simpsons S 8 E 6 A Milhouse Divided
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:
- Bowdlerization: When aired in the United Kingdom, the part where Luann packs away Kirk's shirts, douses them with lighter fluid, and burns the box (along with her line "Presto, change-o, KABOOM! Sweet Fanny Adams, bye-bye!") was cut.
- Broken Aesop: Kirk and Luann 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 Luann 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 (which is actually discrimination and grounds for Kirk to sue), an earlier comment from Luann also heavily implies his employer was her father, and his car was stolen by a woman he met on the rebound who claims to be on the music business (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).
- Call Back: The flashback of Homer and Marge's quickie wedding at Shotgun Pete's from season three's "I Married Marge," along with a new scene where Homer buys Marge a Carvel ice cream cake shaped like a whale.
- Didn't See That Coming: Kirk never saw the divorce coming.
- Downer Ending: Even after Kirk's heartfelt song, Luann still rejects him and has her boyfriend kick him out of the Simpson house. In this case, the downer ending was invoked by the writers because they didn't want to do the hokey, cliched ending where the divorced couple get back together.
- On the other hand, the ending for Marge and Homer is incredibly sweet.
- Irony: Kirk apparently can't draw well. He can't draw "dignity", and gets angry at Luanne who couldn't tell, which sets off the argument (see Toilet Seat Divorce). Later:Kirk: [surprised] I... I... a divorce? Sure. Divorce. Hey, you got it, toots! And here's a picture even you can figure out! [draws a circle in a rectangle] It's a door! Use it!
Homer: That's a Door!?
- Lethal Chef: According to Kirk, Luanne is such a bad chef that the last time Kirk ate well (before Marge's dinner party) was when he was in the Army and when Luanne tells everyone about the time some punks egged Kirk's Bonneville, he snarks, "They should have hurled some bacon too. Then I could have a decent breakfast for once."
- My God, What Have I Done?: Kirk realized what a jerk he's been to Luanne and should have respected her more.
- 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.
- Marge left them for Homer after he called to tell her he won't be with her that night like he promised.
- Status Quo Is God: Averted. The Van Houten's don't get back together.
- Take Our Word for It: We don't see how Luanne drew "dignity", but everyone agrees that it was a very, very good drawing.
- Toilet Seat Divorce: Kirk and Luanne divorce over a game of Pictionary...or so it seemed. In actuality, they were fighting all night before the game started, and the game just unleashed years of frustration on Luanne's part.
- 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.
- Sheryl Crow was supposed to guest star as herself to sing at the second wedding, but she declined.