Marge writes a romance novel with Homer and Ned as the men who fight for her love. Meanwhile, Homer gets a job as an ambulance driver.
This episode contains examples of (YMMV tropes can be found here):
- Anti-Climax: Homer and Ned's car chase ends hilariously abruptly:Homer: Flanders, pull over! I'm an ambulance.Flanders: Well, he's got me there. *instantly stops car*
- Bait-and-Switch: A long one involving Homer furiously hunting Ned down for learning about the novel showing Ned as a model husband and Homer as a violent drunk as seen by Marge. Turns out Homer only wanted to beg Ned to give him pointers.
- Bait-and-Switch Comment: When Homer sees a Help Wanted sign at a car dealership, he says it gives him an idea: he'll steal the sign so the dealership will pay him to make a new one. Upon catching Homer trying to steal the sign, the dealership owner says he'll show what he does with people like Homer: he hires Homer as a sales representative.
- Critical Dissonance: In-Universe, while Marges book I saw popular with the town, the reviews for it are terrible.
- Cuckold: Everyone thinks Marge and Ned are having an affair.
- Hidden Depths: Homer asking Ned for help reveals a number of things about himself:
- He trusts Marge implicitly
- He knows Ned is too much of a goody-goody to seduce her
- He is able to comprehend and address his inadequacy
- He understands his drunken irasciability is harmful to his relationship with his wife
- Literal-Minded: Homer says he once read To Kill a Mockingbird and the book disappointed him for not teaching him any ways to kill mockingbirds.
- He also speculates that Lee Harvey Oswald wanted to steal the Jack Ruby.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: Mordecai, Homer's character in The Harpooned Heart, ended up killing Cyrus, Ned's character, for being his rival for Temperance's affections. After Homer finishes the audiobook and goes after Ned, Lisa and Marge fear that he's going to kill Ned for the same reason.
- Self-Deprecation: Thomas Pynchon makes fun of his Reclusive Artist status in his cameo appearance.Thomas Pynchon: Hey, over here! Have your picture taken with a reclusive author! Today only, we'll throw in a free autograph! But wait, there's more!
- Unexplained Recovery: After almost ten seasons of having the audience believe he was Killed Offscreen, Dr. Marvin Monroe shows up at Marge's book signing, stating that he'd just "been very sick" all these years.
- Write Who You Know: In-Universe. Marge's protagonist is herself, and her opposition is Homer and Ned.