First Aired - 12/29/1996
A hurricane blows through Springfield, and Flanders' house is the only one that takes damage, leaving the Flanders' homeless and reeling. Things get worse when everyone comes together to rebuild Ned's house (rather poorly) and Ned goes on the mother of all tirades, calling everyone out for their personality flaws, then commits himself to a mental hospital, where Ned's childhood therapist reveals why he lashed out.
This episode contains examples of:
- Absurdly Ineffective Barricade: Homer takes out the back door to barricade a window.
- Achievement In Ignorance: The people of Springfield are such lousy builders they're able to make a house that defies the laws of physics.
- Adults Are Useless: Ned's beatnik parents.Dr. Foster: Would you please tell your son to stop?
Ned's Father: We can't do it, man! That's discipline! That's like tellin' Gene Krupa not to go (starts banging on the desk) "boom boom bam bam bam, boom boom bam bam bam, boom boom boom bam ba ba ba ba, da boo boo tss!". We don't believe in rules, like, we gave them up when we started livin' like freaky beatniks!
Dr. Foster: You don't believe in rules, yet you want to control Ned's anger?
Ned's Mother: Yeah. You gotta help us, Doc. We've tried nothin' and we're all out of ideas!
- The Alleged Expert: The entire town of Springfield, when they bundle together to try to rebuild Flanders' home.
- The Alleged House: The rebuilt Flanders home. It starts with the main door's handle popping off, then it goes through one of the corridors having a painted dirt floor (because they ran out of tiles), the main electrical room having lousy shielding and so there is an absurd lot of static and then it goes straight to Alien Geometries territory. We don't get to see any other of the myriad problems there are inside... not that it matters, because Homer patting the door frame makes the whole building fall apart.
- Alien Geometries: Ned's new house somehow has a hallway that gets smaller and smaller... with Barney trapped in a miniscule room at the end of it.
- Angrish: Ned's Verbal Tics are revealed as the result of repressed anger. It gets increasingly nonsensical as he starts his breakdown.Ned: Now calm down, Nedilly-diddly-diddly-diddly-doodly, they did their best, shodilly-iddly-iddly-diddly. Gotta be nice, hostility-ility-biddly-diddly... AW, HELL-DIDDLY-DING-DONG-CRAP! CAN'T YOU MORONS DO ANYTHING RIGHT?!!!! [everyone gasps]
- Answer Cut: Right after Dr. Foster asks Ned if there is anybody he hates in order for them to help with his anger therapy, we cut to Homer getting a call summoning him to Calmwood.
- Anyone Remember Pogs?: Marge finds a Rubik's Cube in the basement during the storm, and the family decides to try to solve it; they have no more luck than most people did when it was popular, leading to Marge eventually getting frustrated, and yelling, "Now I remember why I threw this down here in the first place!" before tossing it.
- Beware the Nice Ones: When Ned gets pushed too far, his anger frightens practically everyone in Springfield.
- Beyond the Impossible: Ned has followed everything the Bible says, even the parts that contradict the other parts.
- Big Storm Episode: The first half of the episode is about Springfield preparing for and dealing with the aftermath of a hurricane coming through town.
- Bizarrchitecture: The House That Love Built, in all its shoddy glory.
- Borrowed Catchphrase: A hilarious instance of Ned Flanders roasting Bart by imitating his Totally Radical mannerisms...Bart: Hey, back off, man!
Ned: Ohhh, okay, duuuuuuude! I wouldn't want you to have a cow, MAAAAAAAN! Here's a Catchphrase you better learn for your adult years: "Hey, buddy, GOT A QUARTER?!"
- Butt-Monkey: Ned, of course. He loses his house in the hurricane, didn't get home insurance (because he considers insurance a form of gambling), the Leftorium was looted shortly afterwards, he gets a paper cut while reading the Bible in the church, and his newly-rebuilt house collapses soon after he sees how shoddily it was constructed. He interprets all of this as God punishing him, and he finally reaches his Rage Breaking Point when he tries to clean his glasses after the house collapses and the lens falls out and breaks.
- Call-Back: Also in the hospital is Ms. Botz from "Some Enchanted Evening".
- The Cameo: Jay Sherman is in the mental hospital."It stinks! It stinks! It stinks!"
"Yes, Mr. Sherman, everything stinks."
- Cerebus Retcon: Ned's "diddly"s are a sign of him suppressing his anger.
- Comically Missing the Point:
- After ripping on everyone else, Ned turns to Homer and quietly tells him "you are the worst human being I have ever met." Homer's response: "Hey, I got off pretty easy", because Ned didn't actually yell at him.
- At the Springfield church, Ned chats with Reverend Lovejoy.Ned: Rev. Lovejoy, with all that's happened to us today, I kinda feel like Job.
Lovejoy: Well, aren't you being a tad melodramatic, uh, Ned? Also, I believe Job was right-handed.
- Continuity Nod: Two of the inmates at the asylum are the Babysitter Bandit and Jay Sherman.
- Creator Cameo:
- A caricature of John Swartzwelder can be seen shutting the door of a room in Calmwood Mental Hospital. Later in the episode, during the scene where the townsfolk are welcoming Ned back, someone can be seen holding a sign that says "Free John Swartzwelder".
- During the sequence where Flanders yells at the town, a man with a ponytail and wearing a white shirt who is a caricature of director Bob Anderson can be seen.
- Crisis of Faith: The entire episode, where Ned's faith in God is tested when his house is destroyed, his business is looted and he screams at his friends after their attempt to repair his home fails.
- Dark Reprise: Of the opening choir of the Theme Tune during the brief Opening Shoutout.
- Deadpan Snarker: Ned Flanders becomes more prone to say bitter and sarcastic comments as his misfortune increases.Marge: Ned, Maude! You've got to go back to your house. Something incredible has happened.
Ned: Oh, what happened now? Did the rubble burn down?
- Death Row: A gag during the hurricane scene shows a condemned murderer about to be executed in the electric chair. Seconds before the warden pulls the switch, the roof is blown off the death chamber in a huge gust of wind, which also causes the straps to come off. The criminal is blown into the air, and he snarls at the prison staff, "So long, suckers!" However, his freedom is very short-lived, as he is blown into high-voltage wires and killed instantly.
- Dissonant Serenity: After his "Reason You Suck" Speech, Ned gets into his car, listening to "Aloha Oe", and he drives straight through the gates of Calmwood Mental Hospital. He also, very cheerily, adds the threat that he will run over anybody who pisses him off to his announcement that he will no longer bottle up his rage.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: After Ned lashes out at Marge, Bart immediately comes to her defense and tells Ned to back off.
- Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Homer goes outside of the house when the hurricane seemingly stops, despite Lisa warning him it's the eye of the hurricane. He then sees the Bowlarama flying past high up in the sky.Homer: Hmm, I don't remember a bowling alley being there—(screams, realizing Lisa was right)
- Foreboding Fleeing Flock: Parodied;
- Foreshadowing: Ned having trouble opening the door to his rebuilt house is your hint about how badly it was built.
- Funny Background Event: If you look closely in the panning shot of the mental hospital rooms, one of the mental patients is a caricature of Simpsons writer John Swartzwelder (and in a later scene, someone has a protest sign that reads, "Free John Swartzwelder!") and another is Lucille Botz (The Babysitter Bandit from season one's "Some Enchanted Evening," sating viewers' claims that Lucille is a Karma Houdini, as she is now caught and either copped an insanity plea or was revealed off-screen to be criminally insane).
- Getting Crap Past the Radar
Young Ned: "Bam! Im Dick Tracy! Take that, Prune Face! Now Im Prune Face! Bam! Take that, Dick Tracy! Now Im Prune Tracy! Take that, Dick-"
- By way of a Curse Cut Short:
- The show gets away with putting Todd in what is very obviously a Butthole Surfers t-shirt by drawing him in such a way that it reads "Buttho Surfers" or in a wide shot where the full name is illegible.
- Gone Horribly Right: The University of Minnesota Spankalogical Protocol stopped young Ned's hyperactivity and aggression, but it made him incapable of expressing any anger, instead going into Verbal Tics, such as "diddly".
- Guilt by Association Gag: Ned's rant includes Lenny, whom he doesn't even know, and who just arrived and had no idea what was going on.
- Halfway Plot Switch: The first act is about the hurricane and the main characters dealing with it, then the focus shifts to Ned's background.
- Hands-Off Parenting: Ned's beatnik parents didn't believe in discipline, thus making Ned a very troublesome brat.
- Ned also criticizes this with regard to Marge, pointing out that she has stood by and done nothing while her family is "out of control."
- Hypocritical Humor: In a deleted scene where Flanders chastises Milhouse as well.(Ned is storming through the crowd, but pauses realizing that Milhouse is staring at him nervously.)
Ned: What are you looking at, four eyes?!
Milhouse: But...But you have glasses too.
- I Hate Past Me: Ned is shocked when he is reminded of what a troublesome brat he was.
- I Resemble That Remark! crossed with a (premature) I Take Offense to That Last One!:Ned: You ugly, hate-filled man!
Moe: Hey! Hey! I may be ugly and hate-filled, but I... um, what was that third thing you said?
- Ironic Echo Cut: After the hurricane, the Simpson family finds their home intact:Marge: It just goes to show you that everything will work out if you have faith.
(pan to the Flanders' house, which is completely destroyed)
Ned: (getting up from the ruins) It's all gone... everything... gone-diddly-on...
- Ned points out the irony of losing his house and everything the Flanders family had except the family tombstones.
- Ned loses his temper at the townspeople in one of the few times they were genuinely trying to do something good and help him.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Although Ned has only to blame himself for failing to buy home insurance in the first place and he put too much faith in God restoring everything back to order for him, when he lashes out at the Springfieldians for failing to build him a proper house he does make some good points about them being all incompetent, selfish, slovenly to get so much as a thanks from him. He also has a point according to his views that a good person shouldn't go through what he has.
- Karma Houdini Warranty:
- Ms. Botz, who Homer obliviously helped loot the Simpsons' house and evade the police all the way back in Season One, is shown kept inside a room of the mental clinic.
- A more short-term version appears during the hurricane sequence, where the hurricane tears apart the penitentiary's electric chair room and takes away a convict strapped to it before he can be executed, and he manages to belt out a "So Long, Suckers!" to the guards and witnesses before the wind carries him straight into some high-voltage lines.
- Kick the Dog: Springfielders inexplicably loot Ned's Leftorium store after the hurricane (the one which destroyed Ned's house and rendered him and his family homeless). Even Kent helps a looter.Kent: Try looking in the back.
- The Last Straw: Ned's rebuilt house was shoddy all around, but what brings it down is Homer patting it.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Ned's "The Reason You Suck" Speech ranting can be seen as what the writers really think of the characters.
- Nice Guy: The Happiest Man in Springfield, who politely clarifies everyone that Ned was referring to himself and thanks them for looking.
- Not So Above It All: An example made out of Ned's anger and rage:
- His rage against Marge: becoming angry over something that could be mediated and solved peacefully, or having enough of ignorance and just going straight at it;
- His rage against Bart: discarding the forgiveness card for the town firebrand/troublemaker and giving him a piece of his mind;
- His rage against Lisa: showcasing outrage and distaste for know-it-alls and perfectionists as well as her trying to force her opinions like her vegetarianism onto people;
- His rage against Wiggum: showing his outrage and dissidence at the incompetence and flaws of authority;
- His rage against Krusty: showing his criticisms of people who he doesn't find funny;
- His rage against Lenny: shows how he isn't even immune to the idiom of "Not everyone will like you" and how he can't like someone for no reason;
- His rage against Moe: shows how he can even judge books by their cover and people by their appearances and surface outward personalities;
- His rage against Milhouse: shows how even he can be an outright bully;
- His rage against Homer: shows how much he can hate someone.
- Off-Model: When Dr. Foster is first introduced, his eyes are briefly drawn with both pupils facing opposite directions.◊
- OOC Is Serious Business: Ned rarely gets angry.
- Oh, Crap!: Dr. Foster, when he got a call that Ned has committed himself.
- Opening Shout-Out: After the Simpsons enter their storm shelter, we see a title-only version of the opening sequence called "The Hurricane."
- Out-of-Character Moment: Ned snaps and gets angry with the people who rebuilt his house. Ned himself recognizes the severity of the outburst, and immediately drives himself to a mental institution. However, this was explained as the result of Ned repressing his rage and hatred of his parents for literally decades. The piss-poor job the citizens did rebuilding his house was just the last straw.
- Parental Neglect: Ned's parents. They didn't use any discipline at all, thus making Ned a very troublesome brat. See Adults Are Useless, above.
- Pet the Dog:
- Even when Ned rips into Moe, he still acknowledges him as a person; even Moe was surprised by this.
- Despite his animosity towards Ned, Homer acts pretty nice to him throughout the episode, joining the rest of the town in building him a new home (even if it was terrible), helps the doctors in teaching him anger, and is happy for Ned at the end.
- Police Are Useless: Ned points this out about Chief Wiggum in his "The Reason You Suck" Speech:Ned: What do we have here? The long, flabby arm of the law?! The last case you got to the bottom of WAS A CASE OF MALLOMARS!
- Precision F-Strike: Ned, a character who hardly ever swears, begins his rant against the Springfieldians with "AW, HELL-DIDDLY-DING-DONG-CRAP!"
- Pushover Parents: A flashback shows that Ned's parents were beatnicks who didn't believe in punishing their son for his unruly behavior, but on the other hand didn't want the behavior to continue.
- Rage Against the Heavens: Upon getting a paper cut from opening a Bible, Ned has this to say:Ned: Why me, Lord? Where have I gone wrong? I've always been good. I don't drink or dance or swear. I've even kept kosher just to be on the safe side. I've done everything the Bible says! Even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff! What more can I do? I...I..I feel like I wanna yell out, but I just can't dang-darn-diddly-darn-dang-ding-dong-diddly-darned do it! I just...I... (sigh)
- Rage Breaking Point: The Flanders' house got destroyed by a hurricane and Ned isn't impressed with the rather shoddy result of the rest of the townspeople's efforts to rebuild it for him. He tries to be nice as usual, but, when his glasses break as he tries to clean them, he finally snaps and goes on a tirade, delivering a mass "The Reason You Suck" Speech to everyone present. Particularly notable in this case, because he's been building up his rage for decades. Hell, it's the reason he has his Verbal Tic.
- Reality Ensues:
- As it turns out, a house built quickly without any expertise isn't bound to stand for very long.
- The spanking that "cured" Ned in his childhood didn't address the underlying issues - the problem remained, he just learned to hide it to avoid punishment. If you only cure the symptoms without addressing the cause, chances are it'll eventually come back.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
- Ned gives an absolutely harsh one to the people of Springfield.Marge: Ned, we meant well. And everyone here tried their best.
Ned: Well my family and I can't live in good intentions, Marge! Ohhh, your family's out of control, but we can't blame you, because you have goooooood intentions!
Bart: Hey, back off, man!
Ned: Ooh, okay, duuuuuuude, I wouldn't want you to have a cow, maaaaaaan! Here's a Catchphrase you better learn for your adult years: "Hey, buddy, GOT A QUARTER?!"
(the crowd gasps again)
Bart: I am shocked and appalled.
Lisa: Mr. Flanders, with all due respect, Bart didn't do anything.
Ned: (gasps sarcastically) Do I hear the sound of butting in? It's gotta be little Lisa Simpson, Springfield's answer to a question NO ONE ASKED!
(Chief Wiggum laughs)
Ned: What do we have here, the long flabby arm of the law?! The last case you got to the bottom of WAS A CASE OF MALLOMARS!
Krusty the Clown: Mallowmars, oh, that's going in the act.
Ned: Oh yeah, the Clown, the only one of you buffoons who doesn't make me laugh! (walks by Lenny) And as for you, I don't know you but I'm sure you're a jerk!
Lenny: Hey, I've only been here a few minutes. What's going on?
Ned: You ugly, hate-filled man.
Moe: Hey hey, I may be ugly and hate-filled, but I — um — what was the third thing you said?
Ned: What are you looking at, four-eyes?!
Milhouse: But...but you have glasses, too!
(the crowd backs away from Homer as Ned walks up to him)
Ned: (Tranquil Fury) Homer... you are the worst human being I have ever met.
Homer: Hey, I got off pretty easy.
- Homer gives Ned a milder one, accusing him of being afraid to be human.Homer: (directly towards mirror) Aw that's it, you just can't insult this guy. You call him a moron and he just sits there, grinning moronly.
Flanders: (to mirror) Hi, neighbor!
Homer: You know what your problem is, Flanders? You're afraid to be human.
Flanders: Ho ho, now why would I be afraid of that?
Homer: Because humans are obnoxious, sometimes. Humans hate things.
Flanders: Well, maybe a few of them do... back East.
- Ned gives an absolutely harsh one to the people of Springfield.
- Rhetorical Request Blunder: After Ned feels so good about having his home rebuilt, he says "If you ever need a favor, look for the happiest man in Springfield!", and everybody looks at a happy man that says "No, not me, folks, he's talking about himself. But, thanks for looking!"
- Sanity Slippage: After his ranting, Ned just plants a fake smile on his face, and hums disjointedly when driving himself back to Calmwood.
- Sarcasm-Blind: Homer, unable to see that Ned's comment "You are the worst human being I have ever met" is scathing criticism, instead of just a "meh"-type insult.
- Seasonal Montage: When Dr. Foster administers the University of Minnesota Spankalogical Protocol, which involves spanking Ned nonstop for eight months.
- Soapbox Sadie: Ned calls out Lisa on being one of these during his long rant, calling her "the answer to a question no-one asked."
- Stepford Smiler: Ned had been this for decades before finally reaching a Rage Breaking Point here.
- Take That!:
- Considering how much Matt Groening hated "A Star is Burns", it shouldn't be surprising that Jay Sherman is shown as one of the patients at Calmwood Memorial Hospital, saying everything stinks, though one could interpret it as a Take That! against Groening.Doctor: Yes, Mr. Sherman. Everything stinks.
- "I've done everything The Bible says, even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff!"
- The University of Minnesota Spankalogical Protocol is a subtle one to advocates of Corporal Punishment, particularly those that exaggerate its benefits believing that it pretty much solves everything bad a child does.
- Considering how much Matt Groening hated "A Star is Burns", it shouldn't be surprising that Jay Sherman is shown as one of the patients at Calmwood Memorial Hospital, saying everything stinks, though one could interpret it as a Take That! against Groening.
- Teach Him Anger: Dr. Foster decides to snap Ned out of his breakdown by having Homer anger him intentionally.
- That Makes Me Feel Angry: After Ned rips into Bart during his "The Reason You Suck" Speech, Bart says "I am shocked and appalled."
- This Is Gonna Suck: Homer (and a lot of other people) are appropriately scared when Flanders is about to give him noise.
- To Make a Long Story Short: Reverend Lovejoy's answer to whether God is punishing Ned.Lovejoy: Short answer: yes, with an if. Long answer: no... with a but.
- Tranquil Fury: Ned yells at everybody else during his rant, but when he gets to Homer, he coldly tells him "You are the worst human being I have ever met." Homer believes he got off pretty easy.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Ned commits himself because he regards himself as one.
- Wham Line: "AW, HELL DIDDLY DING DONG CRAP!!! CAN'T YOU MORONS DO ANYTHING RIGHT?!?!"
- Yank the Dog's Chain: The townspeople band together to rebuild the Flanders' house and Ned is delighted, but he quickly realizes how poorly it was built and soon after it collapses, leaving Ned no better off than before. It's also what causes Ned to have his breakdown.
- Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: One of the buildings destroyed by the hurricane is Ye Old Harpsichord Shoppe.