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Recap / The Simpsons S13 E10 "Half-Decent Proposal"

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In this episode written by Tim Long, Artie Ziff, now a tech billionaire, returns and offers Homer a million dollars if he agrees to spend a weekend with Marge so Homer can get money for an operation to help him stop snoring.

Tropes:

  • Bait-and-Switch: During the oil rig fire:
    "This is how Faceless Joe lost his legs!"
  • Compressed Vice: While it's been said before that Homer does annoying noises when he sleeps, his capacity of snoring so loud that he requires mechanical assistance (or an operation) to have it muted otherwise nobody (let alone Marge) will be able to sleep appears in this episode only.
  • Continuity Nod:
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    • Marge has a Flashback to Artie's molestation of her when Patty and Selma bring up how he took her to the prom.
    • Homer uses a Funzo doll in his goodbye video.
    • Grandpa, misunderstanding the situation of Homer's leaving, believes everyone's talking about him bowling a 300 game. Marge points out that happened a year and a half ago.
  • Driven to Suicide: Once Homer thinks that Marge and Artie are together, he decides to go work on the West Springfield oil fields, which are an extremely Dangerous Workplace. Lenny comes with him too.
  • Entendre Failure: When Marge arrives home via taxi after her evening with Artie goes sour, she instructs the driver to send the cab fare bill to "Baron Von Kiss-a-lot". However, that driver happens to be the Wise Guy, who proceeds to send the bill to a literal baron with Gag Lips.
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  • HA HA HA— No: After Homer suggests Dr. Hibbert perform his snoring surgery for free, Hibbert chuckles good-heartedly — then tells Homer to Get Out!.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: While there are similar Ho Yay moments other times as well, this episode is heavy on the "gay couple" jokes about Lenny and Carl, or at least heavily implies that Lenny is in love with Carl.
  • Honor Before Reason: After all of the antics in the episode, Marge refuses Artie's agreed-upon payment of a million dollars because she doesn't thinks it's right, even if she probably didn't expected him to continue to be such a sleaze after so many years. She does accepts a snore-masking device from him at some point afterwards, but it was something much worse for her to accept because it has a Spy Cam for Artie to stalk her with.
  • Jerkass:
    • Artie Ziff. He offers Marge and Homer a million dollars to have Marge stay with him for the weekend and says that he won't try anything funny and then tries to anyway and then it's implied that he's spying on her through a camera in the mouthpiece that helps with Homer's snoring.
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    • Patty and Selma, who send an email to Artie Ziff by claiming to be Marge saying she wants to have sex with him.
  • Parodies for Dummies: In the final act, when the rest of the Simpsons are trying to find where Homer went, Lisa gets off the phone with the Springfield Public Library and says that they told her Homer took several books in oil drilling and one called "Dying for Dummies".
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Artie helping save Homer when he's about to die on an oil rig and admitting defeat to Homer. Somewhat subverted by the anti-snoring device having a camera and having anti-Homer messages.
    • Homer when he thinks Marge wants to be with Artie.
  • Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor: Artie Ziff (a multi-millionaire) and Homer Simpson (who can't afford even good housing, let alone an operation to get rid of his snoring).
  • Shout-Out:
    • When Marge leaves in the helicopter she see a message made from Homer using nothing but rocks, mirroring the famous final scene in Mash (only the message on MASH said, "Goodbye," not "Keep Your Clothes On").
    • The entire episode (and the title) is a reference to the movie Indecent Proposal.
    • Homer's "realization" of, "If Marge marries Artie, then I'll never be born!" is one to Back to the Future.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Artie Ziff. The whole plot highlights that he never got over her, even using the weekend to try to recreate the dance in which he lost her and do it "right" (somehow believing that this will make her love him), and the very last gag is Marge finding out that the anti-snoring mask Ziff gave them has a camera and a speaker through which Artie can talk to her (and why does she find out? Because he sings an arrangement of Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)" where he gloats about this).
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Exaggerated. Springfield is not to the east of Texas, but rather West Springfield happens to be a desert roughly the shape of Texas but three times the size of that state.

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