One day, while attempting to clean the garage while the rest of the family is out, Homer comes across some spiders. He attempts to get rid of them, but his incompetence nearly costs him his life before his family arrives home in time to save him. Under Marge's advice, Homer attempts to get life insurance, but is deemed uninsurable. Fearing for her future in the likely event Homer should die, Marge decides to start building up a nest egg for her family. However, Homer is upset by how her approach to saving the income he makes is cheapening their lives, and buys a mobile home for himself to spite her. Things between Homer and Marge get worse from there, leaving it up to Bart and Lisa to defuse the situation themselves. The episode was written by Tim Long.
This episode provides examples of...
- Adult Fear:
Homer: It's every parent's worst nightmare: they've stolen a car and they're home alone.
- Homer and Marge when the kids make off with the RV.
- Obviously Marge's fears about what will happen to her and the kids if Homer dies.
- Bad to the Last Drop: Heavily implied with the cheap brand of coffee Marge buys: "Colombia's Shame".
- Both Sides Have a Point: Homer and Marge have differing views on how to handle their finances. Homer is uninsurable, wasteful with money and prone to near death experiences, so Marge has a right to be worried about them not having any savings should he die. However Homer is right that he earned every penny of it, and living as cheaply as possible over something that might not happen is sucking a lot of the fun out of life.
- Call-Back: The car lot where Homer bought the RV in this episode is the same one where he bought one in "The Call of the Simpsons" and the insurance company (Merry Widow Insurance) is the same from "Homer's Triple Bypass".
- Chekhov's Gun: Before Homer and Marge get into an argument over saving their money, Marge brings a hand truck full of soup cans into the house, asking Homer, "Can you help me unload this soup from the car? There was a sale, so I bought 400 cans." Near the end of the episode, when Bart and Lisa are trapped on a ship headed for Kahramanmaras, Marge entices the ship's captain with 300 cans of Budget Club mushroom soup that were apparently still sitting in the trunk of Homer's car.
- Conspicuous Consumption: Homer's attempts to save the family money seem to involve trying to spend as much money as possible, as fast as possible. Homer even implies that since he will be dead, he doesn't care if he doesn't leave anything behind for his loved ones should anything happen to him.
- Cutting Corners: After Homer is denied life insurance, Marge cuts the family's budget to build up a nest egg by buying imitation brands of cereal and coffee, having Maggie pace her sucking to conserve her pacifier and forcing Homer to bring his own drinks to Moe's.
- Darkest Hour: After Marge drives the van buddies away from the house, Homer storms in and has a major argument with her that's so powerful, it lasts throughout the night and well into the next morning. This shows that their marriage is on the rocks, and had Bart and Lisa not stolen the van, this would've ended in an ugly divorce with the former couple hating each other.
- Left the Background Music On: When Marge is going through the pictures of Homer's near-deaths through the years, "Vacation" by The Go-Go's plays. Marge then notices a nearby radio playing the song and shuts it off.
- Lifetime Movie of the Week: Parodied with the "Wifetime" film From Homemaker to Homeless (the title being a parody of the real Lifetime movie From Homeless to Harvard).
- Loophole Abuse: Attempted by Homer when the insurance agent shreds his application — as long as Homer signs it before it's completely shredded, it's legal, or so he says. He doesn't manages to sign it in time and his hand gets caught in the paper shredder.
- Noodle Incident: The photos in the family vacation album, which show snapshots of Homer being beaten up by Mickey and Goofy a Disney park, getting stuck in Lincoln's nose on Mount Rushmore and getting stabbed all the way through the chest with a baquette in France.
- Reality Ensues: When Homer and Marge try to get him life insurance, his laundry list of health problems and constant near death accidents make it impossible for him to get any.
- Shout-Out: The kids find a ''Flintstones Fun Map" in the RV and Homer wrote a message reading "Dino short for dinosaur? Remember to ask Jeeves" (on international airings, "Ask Jeeves" is replaced with Wikipedia).
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Marge does so in this episode.
- Homer as well when he implies that he doesn't care if he leaves his family anything after he dies.
- Wrong for the Right Reasons: Marge is right to be concerned that the family will be in trouble if Homer dies, but the way she goes about it and how she acts like a massive Jerkass to Homer and seizes control of the money despite him earning every cent of it made it hard to side with her.
- Walking Disaster Area: Homer is acknowledged to be one by an insurance company and Reality Ensues — they refuse to insure him.