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Recap / The Simpsons S16 E10 "There's Something About Marrying"

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Homer becomes a minister after Springfield legalizes gay marriage (to boost their damaged reputation for tourists) and Patty comes out of the closet, much to the shock of her sister, Marge, who was naive to her sister's sexuality.

It got a huge amount of hype when it first aired, both from Fox teasing that a character would come out of the closet in the episode, and from Moral Guardians who objected to an episode about gay marriage. It's since been cited as a watershed moment for the same-sex marriage debate in America.



  • Big "NO!": Patty turning down Veronica's second marriage proposal after the reveal that "she" is really a straight man in disguise.
    Leslie Robin Swisher: Patty, will you marry the real me?
    Patty: Hell no! I like girls!
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: After showing Homer's "map to stars' homes" for a bit longer than you'd expect, Homer says "Have you read them all? OK, good," before they cut to the next shot.
  • Butch Lesbian: Patty is this, while sporting feminine wear like a dress, heels and earrings, has had some masculine mannerisms. Flashbacks show her dressing up as a construction worker as a young child and dressing up in more boyish clothes as a teenager. She's even wearing a tuxedo at her wedding.
  • Call-Back: The song "Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)," previously featured in "Bart's Comet", is used again during the montage of the signs that Patty is a lesbian.
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  • Closet Key: "Veronica" for Patty.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When Reverend Lovejoy forbids homosexual marriage because the Bible forbids it, Marge asks which book. Lovejoy repeats "The Bible" as if it were a stupid question, forgetting (or ignoring) that the sections of the Bible are split into different books.
  • Coming-Out Story: Patty comes out of the closet.
    Patty: I'm getting married and I need you to perform the ceremony.
    Marge: You're getting married! Patty, that's wonderful! So tell, tell! Who's the lucky man? What does he do? Let me guess, does he work in customer support?
    Patty: You can guess all night and not get it. (deep breath) Her name's Veronica.
    Marge: But Veronica's a girl's name. Did you know that?
    Patty: I'm marrying a woman. I'm...I'm gay.
  • Content Warning: In America, this became the first episode to open with a "Viewer Discretion Advised" card before the opening, due to homosexual marriage being a hot-button issue with most U.S. viewers.
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  • Disguised in Drag: Veronica, the woman Patty is engaged to, turns out to actually be a straight man dressed like a woman, whom lied his way onto the LPGA tour, and then fell in love with Patty. Marge find this out before the wedding, seeing "Veronica" use the bathroom with the toilet seat up and shaving himself while singing "Dude Looks Like a Lady."
  • Everyone Can See It: When Homer is looking for more gay couples to marry.
    Homer: Where's Lenny and Carl?
    Marge: Don't you push them! They have to work that out for themselves!
  • Eye Scream: As promised, Patty nails Homer with a cigarette in the eye as punishment for making wise-cracks about her relationship.
  • Fingore: Patty stabs Homer in the hand with her cigarette butt the first time he makes a joke about her sexuality, promising him next time, she'll hit him in the eye. He doesn't take the hint.
  • Foreshadowing: There are hints that Veronica is actually a man before the reveal. For example:
    • She has no visible eyelashes, which is quite common for most of the female characters.
    • Her neck is covered in both a flashback and the present day to hide her Adam's apple.
    • She speaks with a slightly masculine voice while trying to keep the charade up.
  • Gender-Blender Name: The man who was disguised as "Veronica" reveals his real name is Leslie Robin Swisher. "Leslie" and "Robin" are names that can be used for both males and females, and "Swisher" is sometimes used as a derogatory term for gay men.
  • High-Five Left Hanging: When Homer and Reverend Lovejoy are being interviewed by Kent Brockman, Homer makes a joke about gay marriage and requests a high five from Lovejoy but Lovejoy refuses to accept it.
  • Hypocrite: Marge was proud of Homer for marrying homosexuals but was disappointed and uncomfortable when Patty revealed herself to be a lesbian. Patty calls her out on it.
  • I Have No Son!: Patty said she had no Non-Identical Sister if Marge doesn't accept her.
    Patty: Selma, we'll always be there for each other. I don't know about Marge, though. If she doesn't show up today, I HAVE NO non-identical sister!
  • Incompatible Orientation: After being outed as a straight man disguised as a woman, Leslie/"Veronica" still proposes marriage to the lesbian Patty but she angrily rejects him.
  • Jerkass Ball: Marge becomes incredibly intolerant and homophobic when she learns Patty is a lesbian. When she learns that Veronica uses the toilet seat up and was shaving, Marge goes out of her way to ruin the wedding.
  • Karma Houdini: Bart, Milhouse, Kearney, Jimbo, and Dolph get away with attacking Howell Huser and causing Springfield's 6/10 rating.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Veronica is thought to be this, while having a more shorter hairdo and boyish apparel than Patty, still dresses a little femininely. She even wears a dress to their wedding.
  • Love at First Sight: Patty and Veronica fell for each other after they first met as Veronica accidentally hit her with her golf club.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Howell Huser, the host from the beginning of the episode, is a parody of Huell Howser, who hosted a long-running travel show (California's Gold) on local California PBS stations.
  • Oh, Crap!: Bart once he realized who he and Milhouse were pranking at the beginning of the episode.
  • Only in It for the Money: The reason Homer became a minister. In fact, he was holding a sign reading "Death Before Gay Marriage" before learning a minister can get $200 for each marriage he celebrates.
  • Pet the Dog: As much as Homer and Patty hate each other, Homer agrees to marry her and her fiancee when Patty comes out as a lesbian.
  • Rule of Three: In the flashback, there are three signs that Patty was a lesbian.
    • When Marge plays dress-up wearing her mother's pearls, dress and heels, Patty plays dress-up as a male construction worker.
    • When teenage Marge puts a poster of her crush David Cassidy from The Partridge Family on her wall, Patty puts a poster of her crush Miss Hathaway from The Beverly Hill Billies on her wall.
    • When adult Marge goes to see Sleepless in Seattle in the theaters, she finds Patty making out with another girl in the same theater.
  • Screw Yourself: Homer has a fantasy about being married to himself and having multiple Homer-look alike babies.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Marge discovering that Veronica is a man is a reference to Chris Hillard discovering that Mrs. Doubtfire is his father in disguise from Mrs. Doubtfire.
    • Patty calls Selma a "Twisted Sister". Twisted Sister is the name of a heavy metal band.
    • While making jokes about Patty's marriage, Homer references Bride of the Monster.
    • The song playing in the background as the gay couples celebrate their togetherness in Springfield is a parody of several Harry Belafonte songs, particularly "Jamaica Farewell" and his signature "Banana Boat Song". Although Belafonte is straight, his name is dropped in the line "I'm gonna marry my Harry in Springfield town."
    • Howell Huser is a parody of long time public access host of "California's Gold", Huell Howser.
    • After Barney takes the beer, he says, "As the Roadrunner says to the coyote, meep, meep!".
    • Blinky turns into the monster The Creature From The Black Lagoon.
    • Veronica sings a couple lines of the Aerosmith song "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)".
    • The couch gag is a reference to the NHL hockey lockout of 2004, which shut down the entire 2004-05 NHL season.
    • The title is a reference to the film There's Something About Mary.
    • In Marge's flashback, the movie she's seeing in the theaters is Sleepless in Seattle.
  • Skewed Priorities: Patty was understanding that Veronica lied to fans, golfers and caddies, but offended that Veronica lied to both her and the sponcers.
  • Snap Back: Lampshaded at the end of the episode:
    Lisa: Well, that's the end of Dad's wedding business.
    Bart: Why?
  • So Proud of You: Marge said this word for word to Homer because of allowing people to express love.
  • Sound Effects Bleep: When Reverend Lovejoy refuses to marry the gay couples that came to the church as the Bible forbids it, Marge tries to tell him the bible contradicts itself depending on what book you read from, only for Lovejoy to drown her out with the church's bell.
  • Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: When Homer reached this line during Parry's wedding, Marge spoke up. Patty thought it was because she disapproved of her sexuality, but it was really because Marge didn't want Patty to be hurt because her fiancé was really a man.
  • Spit Take: Homer and Patty do one when Marge, upon learning Patty was gay, comments that she no longer has to worry about Patty stealing Homer away.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Homer and Patty both react in disgust when Marge remarks Patty coming out means she no longer has to fear them eloping.
    Homer: Marge, I'd sooner run off with a sausage patty than your sister Patty!
  • Too Dumb to Live: Howell Huser was an innocent victim, but he's also partially responsible for the pain he endured from Bart and Milhouse. As a sightseer he just blindly agrees to let two 10 year olds guide him rather than talk to some kind of city official.
  • Transparent Closet: In the words of Patty regarding her sexuality, "You could see it from space!" Homer (of all people) got it when Marge didn't:
    Homer: Hey Marge, here's another bomb: I like beer.
  • Unsettling Gender Reveal: How Marge and Patty find out that Veronica is really a man.
    Marge: (gasps, seeing the toilet seat up) But that would mean... (looks inside)
    Veronica: (singing Aerosmith while shaving) Dude looks like a lady! Dude looks like a lady!
    Marge: (closes for quietly) Looks like Patty's going to get something she didn't count on for her wedding night.
    Marge: (interrupting the wedding) Patty, it's not what you think! Veronica is a man! (rips off tape covering the Adam's apple on her neck; everyone gasps in horror)
    Wedding guest: Oh my, look at the size of that Adam's apple!
  • Visual Pun: Howell Huser rides into Springfield by falling off the back of a turnip truck. The saying "I didn't fall off the back of a turnip truck" is roughly the equivalent of "I wasn't born yesterday".
  • Wedding Episode: This episode focuses on Patty's upcoming gay wedding. Springfield legalizes gay marriage, Patty comes out as a lesbian, and Homer becomes to a minister, and the episode builds up to Patty's wedding to Veronica. At the last minute, the wedding falls through, as "Veronica" turns out to be a man in disguise.
  • Why Don't You Marry It?: Homer to Rev. Lovejoy on Smartline when Lovejoy cites The Bible as his reason to oppose gay marriage.
    Homer: If you love The Bible so much, why don't you marry it? In fact, I now pronounce you and The Bible man and wife...and you're the wife!


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