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Recap / The Simpsons S25 E10 "Married to the Blob"

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Bart and Milhouse are shocked to see Radioactive Man die in the latest issue (the title The Death of Radioactive Man having somehow not tipped them off), but Lisa's prediction that he'll be revived for an overpriced reboot comes true immediately, with Comic Book Guy announcing a midnight release at the Android's Dungeon. Just before Bart and Milhouse (accompanied by Homer) get to the front of the queue, Comic Book Guy's professional rival, Milo, shows up to buy an issue - and reveals that he and his girlfriend, Strawberry, have just married. After Homer mentions wanting to get back to his loving wife and family, Comic Book Guy feels lonelier than ever.

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However, the spirit of Stan Lee appears to tell Comic Book Guy that opportunity is about to knock in the form of Osaka-born manga writer Kumiko Nakamura, who shows up to buy a copy of Radioactive Man and reveals that she is writing a manga about her American journey and has already drawn panels featuring Comic Book Guy. He finally summons the nerve to ask her out, but asks Homer and Marge to accompany him to make sure he doesn't screw things up. Fortunately, his nerves prove unfounded; she likes his snarky demeanour, and they quickly fall in love, to the point that Kumiko moves into the Android's Dungeon basement. But when Homer takes them a housewarming gift, he runs into Kumiko's father, and when he tells him of his daughter's relationship with Comic Book Guy, he orders her to return to Japan with him.

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Marge persuades Homer to talk to Mr. Nakamura, and they proceed to get drunk together and hallucinate an extended homage to the work of Hayao Miyazaki, during which Kumiko insists that her love for Comic Book Guy is genuine, and her father cannot change that. When he sobers up, he decides to accept not just their relationship, but Comic Book Guy's profession, and gives his blessing to their marriage, the ceremony for which is performed by Stan Lee.

The episode was written by Tim Long.


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Tropes

  • Art Shift: Yet another Couch Gag from Bill Plympton, and Homer and Mr. Nakamura's drunken vision of a Hayao Miyazaki wonderland.
  • Babies Ever After: Milo and Strawberry. Not only are they now Happily Married by this episode, but she seen being visibly pregnant with their child. By the time of Comic Book Guy and Kumiko's wedding, they attend the wedding with their now-infant daughter.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: When offered a wine made of rice and snakes, Homer expresses disgust at the idea of making wine from rice.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Milhouse reminds Comic Book Guy he was Fall Out Boy.
    • Milo, a rival Comicbook store owner from Husbands and Knives, appears to taunt Comic Book Guy over his lack of a life.
    • Kumiko mentions Homer's resemblance to Japanese detergent mascot Mr. Sparkle, as seen in season 8 episode "In Marge We Trust".
    • The restaurant C.B.G. and Kumiko go to have their first date has the Thousand-Eye Squirrel mounted on the wall.
    • The chalkboard gag is "Judas Priest is not 'Death Metal'". This is a reference to how, in the previous episode, Judas Priest was labelled as such.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Kumiko first appeared in The Simpsons: Tapped Out a few days prior to this episode airing.
  • Falling-in-Love Montage: Or Kumiko's and C.B.G.'s Super Happy Love Montage, to borrow the title of Kumiko's manga rendition. With Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's "PONPONPON" playing on the soundtrack, we see Kumiko and Comic Book Guy on a picnic listening to a Cosmic Wars: The Crucifixion of Jim Jam Bonks audiobook, visiting the Springfield Air and Space Museum (during which Comic Book Guy accidentally pushes a decommissioned Space Shuttle out of the window), and cosplaying at the Bi-Mon Sci-fi Con (with Comic Book Guy as the title portal from Stargate and Kumiko using said portal to change from a Sailor Scout costume to a Hogwarts uniform; the audience includes Milo and a heavily pregnant Strawberry).
  • Gargle Blaster: The cobra rice wine Homer and Mr. Nakamura drink.
  • Heel Realization: During the Mushroom Samba sequence, Mr, Nakamura realizes that "I am the monster!", which leads him to give his blessing to Kumiko and Comic Book Guy's marriage.
  • Informed Ability: Comic Book Guy gets Mr. Nakamura's approval thanks to his degree in Chemical Engineering that helped him find another job. Said degree was never mentioned before or since, and CBG's expertise in chemistry was never shown at any point of the series.
  • Misplaced Retribution: Marge blames Homer for Kumiko's father breaking her and Comic Book Guy up and insists that he fix it, but all Homer did was bump into the man when he was about to find out the nature of the couple's relationship anyway.
  • Mushroom Samba: Homer and Mr. Nakamura have a hallucination from the cobra rice wine (and following meal at White Castle) that's an extended Hayao Miyazaki homage.
  • Negative Continuity: Averted, this becomes one of the few episodes with an established change to the status quo. Comic Book Guy married Kumiko Nakamura and remained so in later episodes.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: Kumiko's Dad is initially against her marriage to Comic Book Guy.
  • Romantic Rain: During their first date, Kumiko compliments Comic Book Guy's snark. Then they decide to "go walking and mocking in the rain" — Comic Book Guy then says he's in love, yet still a little bit bitter.
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: Stan Lee is 90 years old and can do what he wants!
  • Shout-Out:
    • Some of the kids lined up at Comic Book Guy's store are dressed as members of the X-Men, as well as Doctor Doom and Radioactive Man.
    • Harlan Ellison and Stan Lee show up.
    • Some of Kumiko's cosplay outfits reference Harry Potter and Sailor Moon.
      • And she changes into these by means of the Stargate costume that Comic Book Guy is wearing!
      • Some of the costumes in the audience include The Mad Hatter and Catwoman.
    • Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, of all people, has her song "PONPONPON" featured during Kumiko and Comic Book Guy's montage.
    • Comic Book Guy and Kumiko listen to "Cosmic Wars: The Crucifixion of Jim Jam Bonks".
    • Kumiko mentions she's writing an autobiographical manga, the volume she shows Comic Book Guy has a tone similar to American Splendor but with the art style of Scott Pilgrim.
    • Comic Book Guy's lament song features shots of vintage Spiderman and Superman comics, as well as a cardboard image of Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow.
    • Homer and Mr. Nakamura's Miyazaki hallucination includes shoutouts to My Neighbor Totoro (with Otto as the Catbus), Porco Rosso (Chief Wiggum as Porco), Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea (Ralph as Ponyo), Kiki's Delivery Service (with Patty and Selma both as Kiki, and Snowball V as Jiji), Spirited Away (with Mr. Nakamura as No Face, Smithers as a frog worker, Gerald as the giant baby, the three bullies as Haku, Agnes Skinner as Yubaba), Howl's Moving Castle (with the Kwik-E-Mart as the actual castle and Moe as Turnip Head) Princess Mononoke (with Martin and the other nerds as the tree spirits, and Krusty as the priest)...
    • In the German dub, this episode is called "Manga Love Story" (that's also the German title of Futari Ecchi)
  • Status Quo Is God: Averted big time, Comic Book Guy marries Kumiko in the end and is shown to be happily married in later episodes.
  • Straw Feminist: When Comic Book Guy gets a new job to impress Kumiko's father, Lisa says she's not sure about how she should feel about his new employers because they're polluters whose CEO is a woman.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Comic Book Guy finds the woman of his dreams and she’s here to stay!

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