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Recap / The Simpsons S4 E7 "Marge Gets a Job"

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Episode - 9F05
First Aired - 11/5/1992

After a nuclear plant worker named Jack Marley is forced into retirement, Marge takes a job at the nuclear plant to help Homer pay for repairs needed to fix their slanty shanty. Meanwhile, Bart fakes sick to get out of taking an English Lit test, but who's going to come to his rescue when a bloodthirsty wolf from The Krusty the Clown Show runs off and heads for the school?

This episode contains examples of:

  • Accidental Hero: The slanting floor causes Maggie to slide towards a fan. Homer averts disaster by picking her up, although he doesn't seem to realize what happened.
  • The Alcoholic: Lionel Hutz celebrates getting a new case by having some Scotch. When Marge points out it's 9:30 a.m., Hutz justifies it by saying he hasn't slept in days and downs the bottle (albeit taking a break to ask if anyone wants any).
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  • Amusing Injuries: When a hummingbird perches itself on the chimney causing the Simpson house to lean even further, Bart falls from his bedroom window (keep in mind they all sleep on the second floor) right on his head, but he gets up the next second.
  • As Himself: Tom Jones.
  • As the Good Book Says...: Homer tries to do this when arguing against Marge getting a job. He fails.
    Homer: Like the Bible says, "thou shalt not mooch in on thy husband's... racket".
    Marge: Where does the Bible say "racket"?
    Homer: It's in there.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: When Lisa mentions that Pierre and Marie Curie died due to radiation poisoning, Bart imagines them as giants laying waste to Tokyo in kaiju-esque fashion.
    Japanese bystander: It's the Curies! We must flee!
  • Ax-Crazy: One of Mr. Burns's workers, who is polishing a shotgun and declaring "I am the Angel of Death; the time of purification is at hand". The next time we see him, he's giggling, pumping the shotgun and walking off somewhere. Fortunately, he seems to get distracted by the doughnuts being taken away, as he's in the background of that scene sans his shotgun.
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  • Bad Boss: Mr. Burns forces Jack Marley to retire, for no reason other than because he felt like being a jerk, even after he begs for mercy. Later he fires Marge for refusing his advances.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Groundskeeper Willie who fights the wolf that attacked Bart.
  • Big "NO!": Smithers, when Homer pees on the urinal Smithers just finished cleaning a second ago.
  • Big "OMG!": The animal trainer when the wolf escapes Krusty's set.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • Lisa puts these on Marge's resume to get her hired by Smithers right away.
    • Bart's various illnesses he makes up to avoid taking a test. Most blatant would be when he claims his ovaries are causing him extreme pain.
  • Bowdlerization: After catching heat from an actual viewer with Tourette's Syndrome who wanted to sue the show for mocking the condition, the censors changed Bart's claim that he has Tourette's to a claim that he has rabies (though the syndicated versionnote  keeps the original Tourette's line and the DVD version has the rabies line, but keeps in Bart barking and growling and his muttering, "Tourette's Syndrome" under his breath after Krabappel leaves him in the hallway).
  • Briefcase Full of Money: Smithers offers one to Tom Jones as payment if Jones agrees to give a private show. Jones refuses, so Smithers opens a second briefcase containing knockout gas.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Tibor, the foreign employee that everyone blames things on note .
    • Tom Jones, who is kidnapped by Smithers and forced to smile for Marge, while Smithers is standing behind him with a gun to his back. While he sings for Marge, he is chained to the stage, which Marge doesn't seem to notice.
  • Cassandra Truth: Mrs. Krabappel doesn't believe that Bart has been mauled by a wolf until Bart gives her the test, admits that he lied (even though he didn't), and collapses.
    • She does, however, realize that Bart is actually seriously injured after he collapses and doesn't get up. Whether this convinces her he wasn't lying about the wolf is unknown.
  • Chain Pain: The donut salesman uses these to fend off the plant employees trying to keep him from taking their donuts away.
    Donut salesman: (threateningly) Anyone else wanna be a hero?
  • The Chew Toy: Retired plant employee and Droopy soundalike Jack Marley, from being upstaged and kicked out of his own retirement party and losing out on a new job (at the same place he retired from).
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Once he's done with the repairs, Surly Joe says that the entire reason the house ended up sinking that badly was because of a missing 50 cent gasket, which he agrees to replace, even though it's implied it's not a part of his job. Homer tells him to Get Out!, thinking he's trying to get more money out of them, to which Joe says he has one in his car and offers to replace it for free. Homer naturally tells Marge to get his shotgun.
  • Crying Wolf: Bart does this and is literally attacked by a wolf. He then has to lie that he wasn't attacked by a wolf because Krabappel thinks he's lying.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Willie shares some Scotch with the wolf and tells him not to feel bad for losing.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Mr. Burns fires Marge when he finds out she's married, envious of her husband (not realising it's Homer).
  • Doom It Yourself: Homer tries to fix the sinking foundation by himself by watching a videotape hosted by Troy McClure. He's immediately in over his head.
    Troy: First, patch the cracks in the slab using a latex patching compound and a patching trowel.
    Homer: (to Bart) Hand me my patching trowel, boy. (Bart shrugs)
    Troy: Now, do you have extruded polyvinyl foam insulation?
    Homer: No.
    Troy: Good. Assemble the aluminum J-channel using self-furring screws. Install.
    Homer: What do I do in case-
    Troy: After applying brushable coating to the panels-
    Homer: Wait a minute.
    Troy: ...You'll need corrosion-resistant metal stucco lath.
    Homer: Wait a minute!
    Troy: If you can't find metal stucco lath-
    Homer: Uh-huh?
    Troy: ...Use carbon fiber stucco lath!
    Homer: Ohh!
    Troy: Now parge the lath.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: The woman in the trio of people at work at the power plant who sorely need a morale boost. "Funny Hat Day" and Tom Jones music did nothing to boost her spirits.
  • Escaped Animal Rampage: A wolf escapes from Krusty's TV show. He then attacks Bart at school, who tries to warn Mrs. Krabappel, but just as in "The Boy Who Cried Wolf", nobody believes the previous liar anymore.
    • Krusty also gets mauled by an eagle, who takes exception to him helping himself to her eggs.
  • Everyone Has Standards: In yet another perfect example of Marge Simpson being a colossal sample of The Bore, she reminisces a day when she let a pair of Jehovah's Witnesses into her home, and they got so bored with her that they ran away when she wasn't looking.
  • George Jetson Job Security: Burns eventually fires Marge because he's unable to seduce her.
  • Her Code Name Was "Mary Sue": When Marge applies for Marley's old job at the power plant and the entirety of her resume reads "Housewife: 1980-present", Lisa decides it needs a little padding. In Lisa's expanded resume, Marge has experience as a chauffeur, seamstress, curator of large mammals (which is justifiable in her being married to Homer), former Carter administration employee (just because she voted for him), songwriter for Muddy Waters, Swahili translator and nuclear inventor. The last part in particular ends up blowing up in her face when Smithers directs her to a small room with a control panel with Billions of Buttons on it as her first assignment, and she naturally protests that she has no idea whatsoever what she should do with it, causing Smithers to ask whether she's kidding because according to her resume, she invented the device she's currently sitting in front of.
  • Homage: Smithers' musical salute to Mr. Burns is yet another Burns-centric variant on a scene from Citizen Kane (down to using the actual song, albeit with new lyrics).
  • Honor Before Reason: After Lionel Hutz washes out, Marge says they should just go before Burns fires Homer, too. Homer refuses and demands that Burns apologize to Marge. Burns is actually impressed.
  • Hypocritical Humor: At Jack Marley's retirement party Burns has a musical number devoted to him rather than Jack. Yet when Jack wants to speak Burns accuses Jack of being an Attention Whore even though it's his party, something Burns even acknowledges.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: When Willie and the wolf finish wrestling, Willie shares a flask of Scotch with the whipped wolf. The wolf looked like he really needed it.
    Willie: Ah, don't feel bad for losing. I was wrestling wolves back when you were at your mother's teat.
  • I Resemble That Remark!: Homer gets upset with Marge after she tells him he was slacking off at work, and tells her that he doesn't want to sleep with a woman who thinks he's lazy. Instead, he's going to go downstairs, unfold the couch, unroll the sleeping bag... then he gives up and falls asleep when he realizes it'll take too much effort.
  • Imagine Spot: Homer has one about what he plans to do once he retires. He imagines himself resting on the couch like he's already doing for real.
  • Ironic Nickname: Surly Joe, the foundation repairman. Despite his nickname, he's actually a pretty Nice Guy.
  • It's All About Me: The featured act at Jack Marley's retirement party turns out to be a musical number for Mr. Burns, who is visibly upset when Jack asks to say a few words.
    Marley: I'm not finished yet!
    Burns: Oh yes, you are!
  • Just the Introduction to the Opposites: Marge mentions a time when two Jehovah's Witnesses came over and she let them in — only for the Jehovah's Witnesses to get bored with her and leave.
  • Kick the Dog: Jack Marley begs in the middle of his farewell party to please be allowed to keep his job because it's the only thing keeping him from committing suicide. Burns's response to that is to have his goons throw the old man out.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: The power plant employees swiftly give up trying to get the donuts back after seeing Lenny gets clobbered.
  • Long List: Grandpa comes to believe Maggie is sick while babysitting her. He consults an antiquated medical reference book: "Let's see, what's old Doc Washburn prescribe? Do you have dropsy? The grippe? Scrofula? The vapors? Jungle rot? Dandy fever? Poor man's gout? Housemaid's knee? Climactic boo bow? The staggers? Dum-dum fever?"
  • Mama Bear: After the wolf escapes the set, a bird starts attacking Krusty. It turns out he ate one of her eggs.
  • Meaningful Name: Surly Joe looks outwardly grumpy, but he turns out to be a reasonable, well-mannered man. The discrepancy is best demonstrated when he's juxtaposed with Homer, who quickly misreads him as a grifter and eventually threatens to shoot him.
  • Move Along, Nothing to See Here: What Willie says to Bart while wrestling the wolf.
    Back to class, laddie. Nothing to see here.
  • Never My Fault: On Marge's first day at the plant, Homer advises her to blame the guy who can't speak English if anything goes wrong. Tibor has repeatedly saved Homer's butt this way. As just one example, Homer lost the key to the room housing one of the plant's monitoring systems, and Smithers wrongly assumes (or is himself using the excuse) that Tibor was the one who actually lost it. Despite all that, he still gets promoted ahead of Homer.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • The time Mr. Burns and Smithers dug up Al Jolson. The only information we get is that the corpse smelled bad and the rest of the night was something Mr. Burns never wants to remember again.
    • Kent Brockman was reporting on some sort of disaster at the White House that left the Vice President in charge of the country before cutting to the story about the Simpsons' tilted home.
  • Off-Model: When at the dinner table and Homer complains about having to work alongside Marge, The scene cuts briefly to her Reaction Shot as she murmurs. Maggie's mouth is drawn really wrong; it appears that two animation cels for her mouth (one where it's sucked in, and one where it's pushed out) are overlaid on top of each other.
  • Only Shop in Town: Or in this case, only foundation repairman in town, much to Homer's chagrin.
  • Ow, My Body Part!: At one point, to get out of taking a test, Bart exclaims "Owww, my ovaries!" For some reason, Krabappel allows him to leave for it, despite boys not having ovaries.
  • Pet the Dog: At his own expense, Mr. Burns lets Marge and Homer enjoy the private concert with Tom Jones; recognizing how much Homer loves Marge, he wants Homer to show her the time of her life.
  • Police Are Useless: Wiggum and Eddie are standing on the sidewalk when the wolf passes by. Wiggum mistakes it for a dog, and Eddie doesn't react to it at all.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Groundskeeper Willie gets one of these when he faces off with the wolf:
    Willie: Hey, wolfie! Put down that hors d''s time for the main course!
  • Quiet Cry for Help: Tom Jones is kidnapped by Mr. Burns and forced to play a private concert for him and Marge. He keeps trying to plead secretly with Marge to get him help, but she's too preoccupied to notice.
    Tom Jones: Get help, love! Call Interpol, get me a hacksaw; anything!
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Smithers, once Mr. Burns gives Marge his job, gets put in charge of the men's bathrooms. He actually seems to be enjoying it, until the inevitable happens.
    Smithers: Sparkling fresh, clear white. What could be better?
    (Homer bursts in and starts undoing his pants)
    Homer: Oh, man, I really gotta-
    Smithers: NOOOOOOO!!
  • Savage Wolf: One attacks Bart. It is later seen with Groundskeeper Willie.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Confronting Burns, Lionel Hutz boasts that he has witnesses, precedent, and a paper trail. Burns says he has ten high-priced lawyers, which causes Hutz to run screaming from the room.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Mrs. Krabappel, choosing to ignore Bart's cry for help, also manages not to hear the sound of a wolf growling and snarling as it attacks him (and completely misses the wolf smashing the classroom door window with its paw).
  • Shout-Out:
    • This episode is one of several times "The Imperial March" has been used as a Leitmotif for Mr. Burns.
    • Smithers' dance act for Mr. Burns is a parody of a similar scene in Citizen Kane.
    • Krusty reveals that "Loud" is The Krusty The Clown Show's secret word of the day, causing an alarm to go off and the audience to start screaming, referencing a similar gag in Pee-wee's Playhouse.
    • Bart shouting wolf and nobody believing him is a reference to the very book he had to read for his report: The Boy Who Cried Wolf.
    • The foundation repairman is called "Surly Joe".
  • Special Guest: Phil Hartman as Lionel Hutz and Troy McClure.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Homer's attitude toward Marge getting a job (among other reasons).
  • Take That!: When Marge is reading the padding Lisa has added to her resume...
    Marge: "Worked for the Carter administration?!"
    Lisa: Well, you voted for him. Twice!
    Marge: Lisa, shh! Someone might be listening.
  • Tempting Fate: When Surly Joe gives an estimate of $8500 to repair the house's foundation, Homer fires him, telling him he's not the only foundation repairman in town. Upon checking the phonebook, however, Homer discovers that Surly Joe actually is the only foundation repairman in town. It even says so in his ad.
    Homer: D'oh!
    • Homer tells Marge they don't need the money that badly (plus he didn't want Marge to apply at the nuclear plant), then a bird lands on top of the house, sending Bart falling out of his room.
  • Thermometer Gag:
    Grandpa: Oral thermometer, my eye! Think warm thoughts boy, 'cause this is mighty cold.
  • They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!: In the song for Burns at the retirement party.
    Smithers: He's Monty Burns.
    Burns: I'm Mister Burns.
    Chorus: To friends, he's known as Monty, but to you, it's Mr. Burns.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Homer shows some dubious and even violent sides of himself in this episode at times, engaging in using a foreign employee as a scapegoat for screwing up on the job all because he doesn't know English all that well, and later threatens to kill Surly Joe on the spot after he's done fixing the house's foundation AND trying to help them prevent a future incident because of his pricing.


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