First Aired - 9/25/1994
In the second Simpsons clip show, Marge reads The Bridges of Madison County and calls for a family meeting to discuss romance, but every family members' encounters with love has either ended in heartbreak or near-infidelity.
This episode contains examples of:
- Bottle Episode/Clip Show: The episode intentionally takes this to its extreme and barely has any new animation (except for the beginning where Marge is reading The Bridges of Madison County), meaning that even the framing scenes of The Simpsons in the kitchen are recycled from past episodes (mostly from the season two episode "One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish".) The episode was allegedly put together at extremely short notice after the start of the new season was shifted forwards a few weeks by Fox, which may account for the small amount of new animation (even by a clip show's standards) and the Alan Smithee writing credit.
- Call-Back: Homer tells Marge what happened to Mindy Simmons after Homer told her that they can never be together: she hit the bottle pretty hard and lost her job at the plant, even though later episodes would have her clean and sober. She could have gone to rehab and become a recovering alcoholic, or the story could be a rumor and Homer, being gullible, believes it.
- Hand Wave:
- During Lisa's story, Lisa's explanation of why nobody was wearing jackets despite it being the middle of February: It was unusually warm for that time of year.
- The Recycled Animation of Homer throwing a book into the fireplace (despite their bedroom not having a fireplace) was hand-waved by Marge grumbling, "I knew we shouldn't have put a fireplace in the bedroom..."
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The scene of the kids watching Itchy and Scratchy (the one where Itchy ties Scratchy's tongue to the moon) and Lisa explaining that this particular cartoon is using Recycled Animation is clearly using animation from an early episode of the show itself (specifically "Krusty Gets Busted").
- Recycled Animation: Parodied when Bart and Lisa watch an Itchy and Scratchy cartoon that we as an audience have seen in a previous episode, causing Marge to ask them how many times they can watch that particular cartoon. They lampshade by answering that it's a new episode made from stock footage. This is also self-referential comedy because the entire episode itself is made from stock footage from previous Simpsons episodes, only with occasional new dialogue spliced over them.
- Special Guest: Albert Brooks as Jacques (credited as A. Brooks); Sara Gilbert as Laura Powers; Kelsey Grammer as Sideshow Bob; Phil Hartman as Troy McClure; Jon Lovitz as Artie Ziff; Michelle Pfeiffer as Mindy Simmons; Marcia Wallace as Edna Krabappel [All voices are only within clips.]
- Take That!: Lisa's line about Ren & Stimpy recycling footage to make new cartoons, and Marge's line, "Yes, but when was the last time anyone talked about Ren and Stimpy?" At the time this episode aired, Ren and Stimpy was run by Games Animation (after its original creator, John Kricfalusi, was fired) and its popularity was on the wane, mostly because Nickelodeon was phasing out its more daring, experimental kids' cartoons for ones that were a bit safer and crowd-pleasing (though it wouldn't be until the late 1990s with The Fairly Oddparents and SpongeBob SquarePants that Nickelodeon would actually find itnote . The mid-1990s Nicktoons like Kablam and CatDog were in that strange middle ground of being clones of Ren and Stimpy and Animaniacs in terms of gross and suggestive humor, but feeling restrained or otherwise meddled with).