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Recap / The Simpsons S 5 E 6 Marge On The Lam

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Episode - 1F03
First Aired - 11/4/1993

Marge makes friends with Ruth Powers (the divorced mother from "New Kid on the Block"), but one night with her leads to a Thelma & Louise style run from the cops (minus the rape, gun violence, Brad Pitt as a handsome cowboy conman, and cliff suicidenote ). Meanwhile, Homer hangs out with Chief Wiggum and the Simpson kids have Lionel Hutz as their latest babysitter.


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This episode contains examples of:

  • Accidental Hero: Homer informs Marge and Ruth about the canyon, which they didn't notice. When they do, they stop before certain death. Homer and Wiggum are the ones who end up driving off the canyon, only to be saved by a landfill.
  • Affectionate Parody: Of Garrison Keillor during the telethon. Matt Groening is admittedly a fan of his work.
  • An Arm and a Leg: One of the firemen prepares to saw off Homer's arms to save him from the vending machine. According to the guy, he's done this before.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: Homer's response to Marge asking that he likes ballet.
    Homer: Marjorie, please! I enjoy all the meats of our cultural stew.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Marge, Ruth and all of the other female fugitives all run off upon hearing police sirens...which turns out to be Kearney wearing a toy siren on his head while riding his bike:
    Diner owner: You stupid kid! You scared away all of my business!
    Kearney: See ya tomorrow, loser! [toy siren blaring]
  • Brake Angrily:
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    • Wiggum slams on the brakes after being convinced the car the women are in is a "ghost car".
    • Ruth does this too upon reaching the canyon, as mentioned above.
    • In both cases, it's more Brake Panically.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Homer's idea of what the ballet is (See Imagine Spot below) is also shared by Lenny.
    • When Ruth shows up to pick up Marge, she pops in a tape cassette, only for it to start playing "Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows" (she then swapped it out for a "Welcome to the Jungle" one). Later, when Chief Wiggum starts chasing Ruth and Marge, he pops in a tape cassette. Guess which song.
    • A flashback reveals that Homer's baldness (among other things) was a result of a military test he took part in. The Dragnet spoof at the end reveals he was being forced to undergo more military testing. Much to Homer's joy.
    • While out on the town, Ruth has Marge shoot a bunch of cans, much to the distress of their owner ("Mah precious antique cans!"), and at the end of the episode, Marge is taken to court for damages, and causing said owner's mental anguish.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Ruth's daughter Laura doesn't make any appearance in this episode (Ruth does mention her, however, saying she has to get home to her before "that naked talk show comes on").
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: As Homer comes to find out, the reason why he got stuck in the vending machines? He was still holding on the stuff inside. Ruth gets one too, after hearing out Marge's solution of just calling the cops on her deadbeat ex husband.
  • Creator Cameo: When Marge gets hit on in the bar, the guy who does not talk is a caricature of show runner David Mirkin.
  • Crying Wolf: Marge didn't believe Homer got his hands caught in two vending machines, thinking he's backing out on his promise. Homer had the fireman write a letter to prove it.
    Marge: (reading fireman's note) "Dear Mrs. Simpson, while we were rescuing your husband, a lumber yard burned down."
    Homer: Ohh, lumber has a million uses.
  • Disappointed in You: Even after she learned the truth, Marge was still disappointed in Homer for not keeping his promise. Later, Homer thinks this is why Marge became a criminal.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Kent Brockman chimes in that Marge and Ruth must be executed for escaping from the police, "lest their actions incite other women, leading to anarchy of Biblical proportions".
  • Divorce Assets Conflict: Ruth Powers' ex-husband refused to pay her child support and alimony, so Ruth steals his convertible. In the epilogue, a voice-over tells the viewers that a judge dismissed the car theft charges against Ruth and ordered her husband to pay the back child support; no doubt, the cause for this was because his lawyer was Lionel Hutz.
  • Entitled to Have You: Subverted. When a roughneck starts coming onto Marge, she tells him she's married. His immediate reaction implies that he's going to take her by force until Marge firmly states that she just told him she's not interested. The guy immediately becomes a gentleman and apologizes for not understanding her the first time and backs down.
  • Epic Fail: The "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue showcases the utter failure of Lionel Hutz as a lawyer by saying that Ruth's ex-husband (who employed him as a defense) was forced to pay everything he owed Ruth.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Marge and Ruth fail to notice they're coming upon a chasm until Homer tells them.
  • Green Aesop: Inverted for laughs with the massive landfill at the bottom of the canyon (or rather, that had almost filled the canyon) that saves the lives of Wiggum and Homer. Wiggum even lampshades it.
  • Hilarity Ensues: Referenced. The Wrong Genre Savvy Homer assures the kids that if a burglar comes, "it will be a very amusing and hilarious situation".
  • "Home Alone" Antics: Discussed by Homer at one point.
    Lisa: Hey Dad, I think state and federal laws require us to have a babysitter.
    Homer: Oh, Lisa. Haven't you seen Home Alone? If some burglars come, it'll be a very humorous and entertaining situation.
    • Not entirely, as the kids have managed to foil The Babysitter Bandit in Season 1. While it was not as hilarious and he is acting irresponsibly, Homer is giving the kids credit that they aren't as helpless as, for example, the Flanders kids.
  • Honor Before Reason: "It's the principle of the thing! I just can't let him beat me again!"
  • Hostility on the Set: In-Universe. One of many details that showcase KBBL has no love for Kent Brockman's prima donna attitude is the fact the "experiencing technical difficulties" card has a drawing of an insane Kent with a straightjacket.
  • Imagine Spot:
    • Homer has one about the ballet, envisioning it to be a bear riding around in a small car with no roof. This sequence currently provides the page image for Dancing Bear.
    • Homer providing vending machine treats to the people at Maggie's wedding.
  • Ironic Echo: "Your point being?"
  • Jerkass: Kearney, who rides by the diner wearing a police siren on his helmet, sending all the outlaws running. And according to the owner, he's done this several times before and will continue to do so.
  • Karma Houdini: Ruth stole her ex-husband's car, shoots at a farmer's antique cans and flees from the police, but escapes any punishment. Justified in the ex-husband's case because he refused to pay child support and hired an incompetent lawyer. Subverted in Marge's case, in that she avoided all of the more serious charges she got as Ruth's accomplice but still had to pay for the damaged cans.
  • Knife Nut: Lionel Hutz pulls a knife on the Simpsons kids when they try to wake him from a nap because he thought he was at the Y.M.C.A..
    Hey! Don't touch my stuff!
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Ruth's husband refuses to pay back alimony. When he takes Ruth to court for stealing his car, the judge dismisses his claims and makes him pay the alimony.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Homer blames himself when he thinks Marge is willingly going to drive off the chasm.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The old man that comes out when Marge is shooting his cans is a parody of Walter Brennan.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: After Homer tips Ruth and Marge off to the chasm they are about to drive off of, he and Chief Wiggum wind up taking the plunge themselves... only to be saved by a giant landfill pile.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • How and what got Ruth Powers to divorce her husband. We do get why, but backstory on what their relationship was like and the full history of it leaves a lot to the imagination.
    • When Chief Wiggum told Homer to buy an inflatable woman, he told Homer to check if it was really a woman because one time, well, he didn't get into details of what happened. It could have been a male inflatable doll or a transgender inflatable doll (both of which actually exist. Go down to any sex toy store or any store like Spencers' that sells adult novelties and see for yourself).
    • What happened to Lionel Hutz at the YMCA that made him freak out over people touching his stuff?
    • When trying to stop Marge and Ruth from driving into the chasm, Homer apologizes to the former for a few past incidents involving attempting to make gravy in the bathtub and using her wedding dress to wax the car.
  • Oh, Crap!: Homer when he realises the description of the suspect Wiggum just radioed in fits Marge perfectly.
  • Random Smoking Scene: Near the end of the episode, Marge is seen smoking a cigarette in a Badass Smoker pose. This is really awkward because she normally doesn't smoke and, for most of the episode, her friend Ruth Powers was acting out the Badass Smoker part.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Homer somehow managed to make a phone call in spite of having his hands stuck on vending machines.
  • Rule of Three: Homer tries to call three people to hang out with: Lenny, Mr. Burns and Ned Flanders.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: Lenny and Carl's reaction to Homer's arms getting trapped.
    Carl: Oh no, he's done for!
    Lenny: Let's get out of here!
  • Shout-Out:
    • The ending spoofs Dragnet.
    • There are several references to Thelma & Louise, including the bar scene, and the part where Homer and Wiggum plunge into a chasm.
  • Skewed Priorities: A member of the emergency unit dealing with Homer decides it would be better to cut off his arms than tear up the vending machines. He is mere seconds from hacking off Homer's limbs with a buzz saw (with no anaesthetic) before a more competent member realises they're only stuck because he's still trying to take out the lodged food.
  • State The Simple Solution:
    • Ruth stole her ex-husband's car since he wouldn't pay alimony. Marge's response:
      Marge: Didn't you realize all you had to do was report him to the police?
      Ruth: Marge, you're the levelheaded friend I never had.
    • When Homer's arms about to be sawn off:
      Rescue Worker #2: Homer, are you just holding onto the can?
      Homer: Your point being?
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Lenny also thought the ballet was seeing a bear drive around in a little car at the circus.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That:
    Fireman: Homer, this isn't easy for me to say, but I'm gonna have to saw your arms off.
    Homer: They'll grow back, won't they?
    Fireman: Oh... oh yeah.
    Homer: (relieved) Whew!
  • Suspect Is Hatless: When Chief Wiggum radioed for help about Marge and Ruth, he said they were under the sun.
    Police radio: State your location.
    Wiggum: Oh geez, I'm on a road, appears to be asphalt. Trees, shrubs, I'm directly under the earth's sun...now.
  • Sustained Misunderstanding: Chief Wiggum was only trying to tell Ruth one of her tail-lights was smaller than the other. Granted though, she was afraid he might find out she's driving a stolen car.
  • Take That!: In-universe, apparently Channel Six has already made a "Technical Difficulties" card of Kent Brockman in a straitjacket to use at the right time.
    • Take That, Audience!: While many would consider the near empty telethon to be a jab at public television and PBS, it's actually a moment of This Loser Is You for overly popular culture and mainstream sensation obsessed members of the audience who don't take the time to pick up some culture and taste.
    Homer: What the hell's so funny?!
    Bart: Maybe it's the TV.
    Homer: (hitting the TV) Stupid TV! Be more funny!
  • That Man Is Dead: While babysitting the Simpson kids, Lionel Hutz burns his belongings in the Simpsons fireplace and says his name is now Miguel Sanchez.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Homer, for kissing the solid waste that saves him and Wiggum from crashing into the chasm.
    • And for the revelation of him being "trapped" in the vending machines is just him holding onto the food inside.
  • Troll: Kearney. See Bait-and-Switch above.
  • Vengeful Vending Machine: Homer puts his arm inside a vending machine to get a free "invisible cola" (actually a Crystal Buzz Cola). When he reaches into it, Carl warns him, telling him that someone lost an arm doing that once. (We see the inside of the machine where there's a skeleton arm from the last guy who tried to get a free soda, still holding onto a can of Fresca.) Homer eventually grabs the soda, but his arm gets stuck and Lenny and Carl run off, screaming. Then, Homer gets his other arm stuck inside a candy vending machine. Just as the rescue workers are about to cut off Homer's arms, it turns out this could've been avoided if he let go of the can in the first place. The firemen write a note up for Marge to prove that the incident wasn't some wild excuse to avoid going to the ballet (with said note mentioning that while they were wasting their time with Homer, a lumber mill burned down).
  • We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties: Kent Brockman getting cut off during his broadcast of Marge and Ruth's run from the law after his controversial statements about women causing anarchy of Biblical proportions. The screen is Kent Brockman in a straitjacket with a cuckoo clock bird coming out of his head.
    Kent Brockman: It's in Revelations, people!
  • Whole Plot Reference: Marge and Ruth's plot parodies Thelma & Louise. Marge is even convinced to stick with Ruth after spotting a couple of women similar to Thelma and Louise while at a roadside diner.

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