[1F14] Homer Loves Flanders

Homer Loves Flanders                                Written by David Richardson
                                                         Directed by Wes Archer
Production code: 1F14                       Original airdate in N.A.: 17-Mar-94
                                                  Capsule revision H, 22-Feb-97

Title sequence

Blackboard :- I am not delightfully saucy.
              I am not delightfu/ at cutoff.

Lisa's Solo:- None due to shortened intro.

Couch      :- The family walk in, see there are two couches side by
              side, and split in half, one half of each member going to
              each couch.

Did you notice...

    ... Homer has an eight-track in his car?
    ... Moe reads the end of "My Friend Flicka" and "Little Women"?
    ... Flanders has a "Last Supper" painting in his TV room?
    ... the three-eyed fish on the sign for Springfield Lake?
    ... Ned's boat is named "Thanks For The Boat Lord II"?

Dave Hall:
    ... at the stadium, Homer rearranges his hair after waking up?
    ... the music during Marge's hallucination?
    ... Homer questions God's identity?
    ... Smithers isn't with Burns?
    ... Homer kisses Ned on the lips?
    ... Maggie wants her father to hold her?
    ... the very detailed "Last Supper" in the Flanders rec. room?
    ... the half filled beer mug, sitting at the empty stool beside
    ... Maggie playing with the blocks?
    ... Ned got his pool table fixed?
    ... in Ned's nightmare, he's a lousy shot, yet he assembles the
        rifle like a pro?
    ... how detailed Ned's Geo was?
    ... Otto is driving the Church bus?
    ... Otto slows the bus down to let the passengers gawk at Ned
        getting arrested?
    ... Marge is knitting the same thing at both the start of the
        episode and the end?
    ... Maggie is holding the ball of yarn for Marge?

Tony Hill:
    ... even Marge laughs at Lisa's comment about Bart getting A's?
    ... none of the Flanders family join in the food fight?
    ... Ned drives a Geo?

Don Del Grande:
    ... Bart says to Homer that "your father was a loser, and his
        father, and his father" -- Grampa Simpson is a loser?  [Andrew
        Volk says, "Technically, yes, because in 9F08 Abraham admitted
        to getting through his younger life solely on his looks, and now
        that he's old he has nothing."]
    ... at church, Homer prefers to sit with the Flanders than his own
    ... someone at church has green hair?
    ... Homer has a Great Uncle Boris?

Voice credits

- Starring
    - Dan Castellaneta (Homer, chicken, Quimby, Barney, Abe)
    - Julie Kavner (Marge)
    - Nancy Cartwright (Bart, Rod, Todd)
    - Yeardley Smith (Lisa)
    - Hank Azaria (internal warning man, work-suggesting man, scalper,
      Marty, Carl, Stan Taylor, Moe, Wiggum)
    - Harry Shearer (Kent Brockman, Ned Flanders, Lenny, Mr. Burns,
      father sheep, Dave Shutton, Dr. Hibbert, Rev. Lovejoy)
- Also Starring
    - Pamela Hayden (Milhouse, Jeremiah sheep)
    - Maggie Roswell (ticket woman, Maude Flanders, Mrs. Lovejoy)

Movie (and other) references

  + Eddie Money's "Two Tickets to Paradise"
    - song sung by Homer
  + The Village People's "Macho Man"
    - Homer singing "Nacho man"
  + "Cheers & Jeers" in TV guide {rc}
    - Dr. Hibbert does one for Homer's charity work and his tailgate
  + "The Ten Commandments"
    - Edward G. Robinson: "Where's your Messiah now?" just like Wiggum
    "Ghost"/"Field of Dreams"/"Terminator 2"
    - Homer through the hedge
  + "Terminator 2"
    - Homer chasing Ned's Geo
  + Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo"
    - shot of staircase and tower itself are similar
  + Texas school-tower sniper/disgruntled postal workers
    - Ned in his dream
  + "Live and Let Die" {dp}
    - Homer flying the boat over the parking lot
    - the loud sound of Homer breathing
  + "Psycho" {rc}
    - the haunted house

Previous episode references

- [7F04] Shot of haunted house recycled?  {dh}
- [7F07], [1F11] Homer's dislike for the homeless {ar}
- [7F12], [1F01], [1F02] Homer's butt is prominently featured {ar}
- [7F16] "Bringing in the Sheaves"
- [8F23] Homer multiple-kissing a man {ar}
- "Can't talk" running gags:
    - [9F06] "Can't talk, eating": Homer at the Frying Dutchman
    - [9F11] "Can't talk, coming down": Lisa after tripping out
    - [1F07] "Can't talk, eating": Mindy at power plant
    - [1F14] "Can't talk, seeing Flanders": Homer to Marge
- [9F11] Selma: "That's the spirit!"  (cf. 1F14, Lisa to Bart)
- [9F11], [9F15] Drug trips taken by female Simpsons {ar}
- [9F14] Chief Wiggum's test for sobriety
- [1F02], [1F04] Homer pigging out on cake {ar}
- [1F06] People who trip out on sugar
- [1F07] Homer peeing in the drinking fountain (cf. 1F14, "Stupid lack
  of public urinals!")

Freeze frame fun

- Eye on Springfield: {rc}
    - The Kill-Bot Factory
    - Pigskin Classic
        - Shelbyville Sharks vs. Springfield Atoms
- Springfield Shopper (Daily News, Free)
    - Big Fat Man Has Big Fat Heart
    - Little Thin Man Accused in Robbery
- Miscellaneous signage: {rc}
    - "Exit only - Caution - Severe Tire Damage, Do not enter" at power
    - "Seven days without a drink makes one weak" in Ned's rumpus room
    - "Helter Shelter - Father James Helter, Founder"
    - "Welcome to Lake Springfield, No mercury dumping without permit"
    - "Thanks For the Boat Lord II" on Ned's boat
    - Ned's license plate: JHN 143 (John 1:43?)
    - "First Church of Springfield, Loosest Bingo Cards in Town"

Animation, continuity, and other goofs

The people in line are stick people and crude drawings -- well below the
Simpsons' usual standards.  {th}

Why would minor league football tickets cost $31?  {th}

When Homer goes to steal Ned's tickets, no shadows are cast, even though
the moon is out.  {dh}

With Homer standing on Ned's front doorstep, Marge shouldn't have been
able to see Homer because Ned's garage is obstructing her view.  {dh}

In the "lead pipe" scene, the doorknob is on the right, but in the
"Pitch 'N Putt" scene, it's on the left.  {th}

Ned & Homer's seats at the stadium are directly above some player
benches -- so showing a bulldozer bulldozing Homer's garbage isn't
possible.  {dh}

The 5, 15, 25, 35, and 45-yard lines are missing from the football
field.  {ddg}

Good thing there's no instant replay -- after further review, the
Springfield receiver is on the ground (and in contact with the
Shelbyville defensive back) well before reaching the goal line; also,
one foot is out of bounds at the 5-yard line when his helmet is at the
goal line (making him 15 feet tall), but the ball isn't across the line.
That last touchdown shouldn't count.  {ddg}

Springfield, being the visiting team, should be on the right side of the
scoreboard.  {ddg}

Springfield, being the visiting team, shouldn't be wearing the white
uniforms.  {ds}

Other than Homer & Ned, why weren't there more Atom fans waiting for the
players to exit the locker room?  {dh}

In 8F10, Homer and Marge are married in Las Vagas, but the photo in this
episode makes the wedding appear formal.  (see below) {ar}

The picture of Maggie in the "Ta Da!" pose (for lack of a better
description) appears to change size (that is, Maggie changes size, not
the picture frame itself).  {ddg}

When Ned was saying grace, the plates on the table contain no food, but
do when Homer comes through the window.  {dh}

In one angle at the Flanders' dinner, Ned's eyeglasses aren't drawn
correctly.  {dh}

The beer mug beside Barney is missing from Ned & Homer's viewpoint.

Moe is holding a mug in his left hand, but for one scene the mug appears
in his right hand.  {dh}

In Moe's flashback, the book stays propped up even when Moe gets out a
hanky.  {dh}

If Moe had just finished reading "My Friend Flicka" then the book
shouldn't be opened to the middle of the book.  {dh}

In the station wagon, Maude seems to be sitting behind Ned on the same
seat, but her head overlaps the rearview mirror.  {dh}

Where is Rod during the car ride to the lake?  {dh}

After releasing the boat, the close-up of Ned depicts the station wagon
as having bucket seats.  {dh}

If Marge, Maude, and Lisa are setting up the picnic table, who's
watching Maggie?  {dh}

When the boat is launched it's a sterndrive runabout, but when it
crashes, it's an outboard.  Also, the back-to-back seats disappear.

Maggie disappears from the "food fight" scene.  (Or did she run away?)

Ned's flying boat arrives from a totally different direction than the
direction Homer ran to.  (This is later corrected.)  Also, Ned leaves
the rear door of the station wagon open, yet this isn't evident when the
boat lands on top of the station wagon.  {dh}

The basketball hoop over the garage only appears when Ned and his kids
are playing.  {dh}

A picket fence usually separates the Flanders & Simpson yards, yet this
fence changes into a hedge.  Compare the "lead pipe" scene with the
"Basketball" scene.  {dh}

Shouldn't Ned and the family be on that church bus?  {dh}

Chief Wiggum's image in Ned's rear-view mirror should be reversed.  {dh}

The First Church of Springfield has the "loosest Bingo cards in town" (a
reference to "loosest slot machines in town" in Las Vegas); in
actuality, all Bingo cards are equally "loose".  {ddg}

Since when does Moe attend church service?  {dh}


Chris Phelan: I couldn't wait until it was over to be the first to give
    an opinion.  It Sucked.

Andrew Ross: Well...it was different.  Not especially better or worse
    than usual, but different.  I think I'll remember this one as having
    more episode-specific running gags than any other episode.  Best new
    couch gag in a long time.

Rakesh Agrawal: This episode was rather disappointing.  It went really
    slow.  Among the worst of this season.  Marge and Lisa were
    uncharacteristically mean (or maybe that's how their characters are
    going to develop).  OTOH, Homer was much more his usual bumbling
    self, not the mean Homer he has been of late.

Ron Carter: [ D+ ] Another episode with Flanders?  Blechhh...The self
    ref got ruined by repeating it.  The Nacho Hat, and Marge's "trip"
    helped it some, but not enough.  The waffle bit was strained; the
    whole Homer as hero thing wasn't developed well at all.

Aditya Sood: I thought it was terrific.  Lots of great laughs on this
    one...but the most amazing thing about the whole episode is the
    epilogue.  I told my friends that I bet Homer tells the family they
    have to spend the night in a crazy old relatives house, and that's
    EXACTLY what he said...made me feel kinda eerie...

Tony Hill: This episode was pretty good, with a lot of funny scenes.  My
    only problem with it was, there wasn't a lot of the kind of stuff we
    usually like to be on the lookout for.  But the plot was fairly
    consistent and there was plenty of self-referential material from
    Lisa, knocking it into the B+ range.

Frank Gulczinski: I think that we can end the debate over the worst
    episode ever after watching Homer Loves Flanders.  This one just
    stunk.  It seemed like they weren't even trying.  The only funny
    scenes were the T2 parody and the Vertigo/The Deadly Tower sequence.
    Flame protection on, but I really doubt that there's anyone who
    enjoyed this one.

Don Frega [reponding to the above]: I would define "Homer Loves
    Flanders" as good, rollicking Simpsons fun.  Not brilliant, but not
    as unbearably stinky as "Cape Feare".  See how our opinions differ?

Carl Mueller: I really liked the Homer loves Flander's episode.  As far
    as plot and story it was kind of weak, but the gags made up for it.
    I love the wig bit in the beginning ("I don't need her at all
    anymore! heh-heh."), and the T2 references were pretty hilarious I
    thought.  Don't forget Homer in Church, "Hey Flanders!  I got some
    kick-ass seats up here".

Don Del Grande: (Grade: B) When I first heard what the episode was
    about, I figured it would be "Homer tags along with Flanders in an
    attempt to get a ticket to the game" and that story has been done
    too many times.  It turned out to be pretty good, although the
    entire Homer takes over Flanders' life thing got boring near the
    end, and that speech Homer gave at the end was too predictable.

Peter Vachuska: The whole episode was like a dream, albeit a very bad
    dream.  Everything seemed out of sync and weird.  The jokes were
    still good for the most part, but the characters were not themselves
    and the plot didn't relate to anything previous.  Maybe there's
    something in the water.

John J. Wood: OK...IJWTS I'm a sucker for Homer...and last night's plot
    was predictable, but Homer Loves Flanders was one of my favorite
    Simpsons episodes *ever*.!  A+!!!  I haven't seen an episode like
    this where I completely lost IT....:-)

Your truly: Gosh, I just felt weird after this one.  The same "Homer
    Goes to College" disjointed feeling to it!  I can't put my finger on
    it.  But a ton of great laughs.  The self-reference was the
    ultimate.  Incomparably brilliant.  I think I must give it a B+, on
    the laughs alone.

Comments and other observations

Still more gender-bending

Once again, the Simpson males get their genders bent.  Abe cross-dresses
    in 9F16 and 9F18 and becomes a woman in 9F22.  Bart wears high-heels
    in 9F02.  Homer almost gets a makeover in 1F03, and now wants
    Marge's hair in this episode.

Wedding inconsistencies

The wedding photo in this episode is inconsistent with 8F10.  Dave Hall
    explains it in the following manner: "I believe there were a few
    more episodes mentioning a formal wedding.  In 7F20, Homer said,
    `What about that big bash we had with all the champagne and
    musicians and holy men and everything.'  To which, Marge replies:
    "That was our wedding".
    Raymond Chen, I, and a few others came to a similar conclusion that,
    in better financial times, Homer & Marge might had an second
    wedding, a normal one.  If anything, 8F10 should be considered a
    goof because it's the only episode that supports the informal
    wedding idea.

Ted Koppel

For those who don't know, Ted Koppel (who Homer thinks he hates) hosts a
    late-night news/interview program on ABC called "Nightline."

Postmen with guns

Tony Hill explains, "There have been a number of violent/homicide
    incidents involving postal workers since 1986.  It's a running joke
    in America.  Only one of the incidents, as far as I know, has
    involved a letter carrier.  The others were caused by back-room


Aaron Weber says, "According to the glossary in William Burroughs's
    `Junkie', a goofball is a nembutal capsule.  Nembutal is a
    barbituate used by junkies `to take the edge off' when they can't
    get junk (junk being morphine/opium/heroin)."  Andrew Jorgensen says
    they're barbituates laced with benzedrine.

Quotes and Scene Summary

[Syndication cuts are marked in curly braces "{}" and are courtesy of
Ricardo Lafaurie and Frederic Briere.]

The Simpsons watch yet another edition of "Eye on Springfield", with
your host, Kent Brockman.

 Kent: Tonight, on "Eye on Springfield": just miles from your doorstep,
       hundreds of men are given weapons and trained to kill.  The
       government calls it the "army", but a more alarmist name would be
       -- "The Killbot Factory."
       But first: Springfield has come down with a fever.  Football
       fever, brought on by the biggest game of the year: the Pigskin
       Classic between the Shelbyville Sharks and our own Springfield
       Atoms.  If you have the fever, there's only one cure; take two
       tickets and see the game Sunday morning.
  Man: Warning: tickets should not be taken internally.
Homer: See?  Because of me, now they have a warning.
-- Something to be proud of, "Homer Loves Flanders"

Bart decides to take advantage of the situation.

 Bart: [sly] Hey Dad, sell you these for fifty bucks...
Homer: Woo hoo!  Sold.  [gives Bart money]
        [Bart runs off]
Marge: [tired] Those aren't tickets to the game, Homer.
Homer: What do you mean?  It says right here: "Free wig with every
       purchase of large wig.  Downtown Wig Center".  Why you little --
       hmm, free wig...
        [imagines looking at himself wearing a Marge wig]
        [falsetto] I love you, Homey.  Mmm..
        [normal voice] Heh heh, I don't need her at all any more.
-- The power of fantasy, "Homer Loves Flanders"

Homer can't resist the big game, so he camps out in front of the ticket
booth.  And his strategy pays off -- he's second in the huge line.

Homer: Heh heh heh, I did it!  Second in line, and all I had to do was
       miss eight days of work.
  Man: With the money you would have made working, you could have bought
       tickets from a scalper.
Homer: In theory, yes.  [sotto voce] Jerk.
-- Marginal productivity of labor., "Homer Loves Flanders"

The wicket opens for selling tickets.  The first man in line steps up.

  Man: Give me, er, 30,000 tickets.
Woman: That'll be $950,000 please.
  Man: Look, the thing about that is, I only got $10 on me.  Can I pay
       you the rest later?
Woman: Sure.
-- Gee, you think he's scamming you?, "Homer Loves Flanders"

The man walks off with a big stack of tickets, and the woman puts a
"Sold Out" sign in the window.  Homer sighs and slumps against the

On the way to work.  Homer listens to KBBL.

       [sound of Bobby McFerrin song finishing]
Marty: That was Bobby McFerrin's new one, "I'm Worried (Need Money)".
       If you want tickets to the big Pigskin Classic [oinking noise]
       just get to a phone and be our thirteenth caller.
Homer: Get tickets.  Must get tickets!  Find phone.  Yes!
        [arrives at work behind a line of cars]
       Ho ho, stupid sheep.
        [drives the wrong way through the gate, bursts all his tires]
Marty: Still waiting for that caller...
Homer: [runs in whimpering, grabs phone]
Marty: Oh, we have a winner!  What's your name, sir?
  Ned: Ned Flanders!
Homer: Oh, not Flanders, anybody but Flanders --
  Ned: Well, golly, if that doesn't put the "shaz" in "shazam."  Oh,
       listen: what's the cash value of those tickets so I can report it
       on my income tax?
-- Goody two-shoes Ned, "Homer Loves Flanders"

In impotent rage, Homer raises his head {and hits the radio.  It flips
to a station playing Eddie Money's "Two Tickets to Paradise",
appropriately.  Homer sings along and even plays air guitar to the
guitar solo.  "Excellent guitar riff," he comments.}

That night at home, Homer laments his fate.

Homer: Why am I such a loser?  Why?
 Bart: Well, your father was a loser, and _his_ father, and his
       father...it's genetic, man.  [realizes] D'oh!
-- That's not the only genetic thing, either, "Homer Loves Flanders"

   Lisa: What's so special about this game anyway?  It's just another
         chapter in the pointless rivalry between Springfield and
         Shelbyville.  They built a mini-mall, so we built a bigger
         mini-mall.  They made the world's largest pizza, so we burnt
         down their city hall.
  Homer: Heh heh heh.  Yeah, they swore they'd get us back by spiking
         our water supply.  But they didn't have the guts.
  Marge: [drinks tap water, sees the walls start to run]
         Ooooh.  The walls are melting again.  [giggles]
Chicken: [getting out of the oven] Personally, I think I'm overdone.
          [flies away]
-- Drugs and cooking don't mix, "Homer Loves Flanders"

Homer tries for the second last resort of the scoundrel: prayer.

Homer: God, if you really are God, you'll get me tickets to that game.
        [doorbell rings]
  Ned: Heidely-ho, neighbor.  Wanna go to the game with me?  I got two
       tick --
Homer: [slams the door] Why do you mock me, O Lord?
Marge: Homer, that's not God.  That's just a waffle that Bart tossed up
        [Marge scrapes it off into Homer's hands]
Homer: I know I shouldn't eat thee, but -- [bites] Mmm, sacrilicious.
-- No waffle too sacred, "Homer Loves Flanders"

That night, Homer sneaks over to Ned's house with a lead pipe in his

       [Homer rings Ned's doorbell]
Marge: [calling from window] Homer?
Homer: Huh?
Marge: Are you planning to hit Ned Flanders with that pipe and take his
Homer: Ye -- no...
  Ned: [answers door] Huh?  [Homer winds up]
Homer: Oh.  [winds down] Flanders, I decided I'd like to go to the game
       with you.
  Ned: Well, get out the Crayloas and color me "Tickled Pink".  Ooh,
       what's with the lead pipe, were you going to give my noggin a
Homer: [sheepish] Well, yeah.
        [both chuckle]
-- Ned, the good sport, "Homer Loves Flanders"

At the Shelbyville stadium, Ned and Homer drive past Carl & Lenny.

Homer: [gasps] Duck!  I can't let the boys see me with you!
  Ned: What?
Homer: [grunts, pushes Ned down] Hi!
Lenny: Hey!  Look, Homer's got one of those robot cars!
        [the car crashes]
 Carl: One of those _American_ robot cars.
-- Carl the cynic, "Homer Loves Flanders"

{On the field, Monty Burns tries to inspire the hulking giant Atoms to
the height of their athletic prowess.}

   Burns: {[to players] Men, there's a little crippled boy sitting in a
          hospital who wants you to win this game.  I know because I
          crippled him myself to inspire you.}
Milhouse: {[to his parents] I hope they win, or Mr. Burns said he's
          coming back.}
-- No plan too dastardly, "Homer Loves Flanders"

{Ned and Homer take their seats.  "Well, these are amazing seats, huh,
Homer?" he asks.  Homer agrees, then blows up a beach ball.  He
announces to the crowd behind him, "Here comes fun!" and hits it back
towards them.  For his pain, someone throws a beer can at him.}

Mayor Quimby sits at the end of the same row as Ned and Homer.  He
orders two hot dogs, two sodas, and two ice cream bars.  As they are
passed along the row towards him, Homer snatches two bites from his
dogs.  When they arrive, Quimby asks menacingly, "What the hell happened
to my dogs?  I want answers!"  He and his bodyguards stand up.

Ned returns laden down with food.

Homer: Well, I guess I should pay my share.
  Ned: [laughs] Relax, Homer.  I keep telling you, you're my guest.
Homer: Ooh, you brought me a nacho hat!  Thanks, Ned.
        [dips a nacho in it, then eats it]
        [sings] Nacho, nacho man, I want to be a nacho man...
-- Not as creative as "Baby on Board", "Homer Loves Flanders"

A bulldozer comes by to clean the big pile of garbage Homer has dumped
on the field in front of his seat.

At last, the score is 27-21 for Shelbyville, and the game is in its
final seconds.

 Stan: [calling a play] Blue 27 on three.
Homer: If anyone can pull it off, it's Stan "The Boy" Taylor.
Crowd: {Stan, Stan, he's our boy,
       If he can't do it, no one -- will.}
-- Non-intuitive nicknames, "Homer Loves Flanders"

And the ball is snapped!  A huge melee forms in front of Stan, and he
must go long to his wide receiver.  The throw is good!  But the man
covering manages to force him out of bounds right at the goal marker.
Is it good?

The referee thinks about it, then calls it...touchdown!  The crowd goes
wild.  Homer goes wild too, kissing Ned many times in his joy.  Ned
laughs uncomfortably.  "Losers!  Losers!  Kiss my big Springfield
behind, Shelbyville!"  Homer taunts.  Someone throws another beer can at
him, but he ducks and scoffs.  Someone else nails him with a whole keg,

When the Atom players leave the stadium, Homer begs for an autograph.

Homer: Hey!  Somebody sign an autograph?  Please?  Somebody...sign an
       autograph?  Hey, would you sign a...You fat, stupid jerks!
        [the players turn around]
       It was him!  [points at Flanders]
 Stan: Ned?  Is that -- Ned Flanders?
  Ned: Heidely-ho, Stanster.
Homer: You know Stan Taylor?
 Stan: Know me?  Ned Flanders saved me.  I used to party all night and
       sleep with lingerie models until Ned and his bible group showed
       me that I could have more.
Homer: Professional athletes, always wantin' more.
 Stan: Ned, they gave me the game ball, but I want you to have it.
Homer: [gasps]
  Ned: Tell you what -- Homer Simpson here's just about the biggest Atom
       fan that's ever graced God's green earth.  I bet he'd enjoy it
       even more than me!
 Stan: Sure, anything for Neddy.  Here you go!
Homer: Wow.  Now I have four children.  [to ball] You will be called
-- A rough name to start life with, "Homer Loves Flanders"

Homer admits Ned has been the nicest to him that anyone has ever been.
On the drive out of the parking lot, they see Carl and Lenny again.

  Ned: Oh, I guess it's time for me to duck again.
Homer: No!  I want everyone to know that -- [yells] this is Ned
       Flanders, my friend!
Lenny: What'd he say?
 Carl: I dunno.  Something about being gay.
-- Something like that, yeah, "Homer Loves Flanders"

[End of Act One.  Time: 8:09]

Homer throws away his wedding picture from the mantlepiece in order to
clear a space for Stitchface.

       [Homer throws a picture into the garbage]
Marge: Homer, that's our wedding photo!
Homer: Marge, quit living in the past.
-- "Homer Loves Flanders"

  Ned: Heydily-ho, window buddy.  Just wondering if you'd like to come
       over and give the new pool table a whirl.
Homer: I'll be there.  And this time, _you_ can be the Nacho Man.
        [both laugh]
 Lisa: Dad and Ned Flanders next?  Hmph.  What's next, A's on Bart's
       report card?
        [Marge, Lisa, and Bart laugh]
 Bart: [realizes] Hey!
-- Slow reaction time, "Homer Loves Flanders"

Homer lines up a shot without using the rake, leaning hard on the table
in the process.

  Ned: [uneasy] Uh, be careful there, Homer, that is sort of a new
       table, heh heh, heh.
Homer: Watch this, Ned.  They don't call me "Springfield Fats" just
       because I'm morbidly obese!
        [tables legs break off under Homer's weight]
       _Now_ you've got a lawsuit on your hands.  Just kidding.
-- A bad time for joking, "Homer Loves Flanders"

Rod and Todd watch a religious kid's cartoon program.

Father sheep: What's wrong, Jeremiah?
    Jeremiah: It's not fair.  My brother Joseph has a sin to confess.  I
              wish I had one too.
Father sheep: Oh, don't you see?  You _do_ have a sin to confess -- the
              sin of envy.
               [sheep baa their laughter]
        Todd: It's all well and good for sheep, but what are we to do?
       Homer: Boring!  Let's watch something else.
    Rod+Todd: Aw...
         Ned: Now, boys, Mr. Simpson is the guest.  He gets to decide
              what to watch.
       Homer: Yeah...
               [Homer flips through channels which all seem to be blank]
              Hey, what gives?  I thought you had a satellite dish.
         Ned: Sure doodily-do.  Over 230 channels locked out!
-- A good investment, "Homer Loves Flanders"

   Maude: OK, boys, time for bed.  Say good night.
Rod+Todd: Good night, Daddy.  Good night, Uncle Homer.
   Homer: Aw, Uncle Homer.  Ned, since you've let me spend time with
          your family, I want you to get to know _my_ family.
           [they go to Moe's]
          Hey everyone.
  Barney: Hey.
   Homer: I'd like to introduce Ned Flanders, my best friend.
     Moe: Hey, I don't want no one in here with their "evils of alcohol"
     Ned: Wait a second: you're the man at the hospital who reads to
          sick children.
           [flashback to Moe reading the end of "My Friend Flicka" and
     Moe: [grabs Ned] If this gets out, the next words you say will be
          muffled by your own butt.
-- Who woulda thunk it?, "Homer Loves Flanders"

Homer returns home from work to find Marge working on a flower bed in
front of the house.

Marge: Honey, I'm so glad you're ho --
Homer: Can't talk, seeing Flanders.  Later, sex.
Marge: Hmm...
-- Short and sweet, "Homer Loves Flanders"

It's dinner time at the Flanders.  Ned says grace.

  Ned: Bless the grocer for this wonderful meat, the middlemen who
       jacked up the price, and let's not forget the humane but
       determined boys over at the slaughterhouse.
        [Homer appears at the window]
Homer: Hiya.  Flanders.  Ooh, dinner!  May I join you?  [climbs in]
        [digs in amidst gasps from the Flanders clan]
  Ned: Homer, I'd love to chitty-chat, but tonight's the night I do my
       charity work.
Homer: Oh yeah, the judge made me do that once too.  Stupid lack of
       public urinals.
-- Much-needed city funds, "Homer Loves Flanders"

Homer magnanimously offers, "Hey!  Just so you don't have to suffer
alone, I'm coming with you!"  Ned sounds less than enthused about it,
but he doesn't let on too badly.

When they arrive at the homeless shelter, a reverend walks up to Homer
and says, "Oh, you poor unfortunate man.  Let's get you our of those
clothes immediately.  And we'll do whatever we can about the smell."
Homer starts to protest, but stops soon enough.

Homer: Come on!  We've been here for fifteen minutes!  Can't you see
       they're sucking the life out of us?
  Ned: Homer...maybe you'd have more fun at Moe's tonight.
Homer: Aw, for some reason, Moe's always closed on Wednesdays
  Moe: [in a corner, reading] "And then they realized, they were no
       longer little girls: they were little women."  [sniffles]
-- The many lives of Morris the Bartender, "Homer Loves Flanders"

Homer tries to rush Ned into doling out the soup faster, and in
frustration, grabs the ladle and starts doing it himself at break-neck
speed.  Dave Shutton notices and exclaims, "Wow, look at that
enthusiasm!  This is front-page material."  He snaps a shot which
appears on the front page of the Springfield Shopper the next day.

Marge: Homey, I'm very proud of you, but don't you think you're spending
       too much time with Ned?  Your family needs you too.
Homer: Oh, of _course_ you'd say something like that, Marge.  You've
       hated Ned for years!  In fact, you wanted to bash his head in
       with a pipe.
Marge: That was you!
Homer: Love, Marge.  Don't hate -- love.
-- Back to the sixties for a second, "Homer Loves Flanders"

 Bart: The Flanders are a bunch of geeks, man.
Homer: The Flandereses are not geeks!  -- OK, Rod and Todd are, and the
       wife has a thing for me, but she hides it behind a mask of low-
       key hostility -- but we've gotta give this thing a chance!  I
       want the two families to take a trip together this weekend.
 Bart: No way, Jose!
Homer: Yes way!
 Lisa: Don't worry, Bart.  It seems like every week something odd
       happens to the Simpsons.  My advice is to ride it out, make the
       occasional smart-alec quip, and by next week we'll be back to
       where we started from, ready for another wacky adventure.
 Bart: Ay, caramba!
 Lisa: That's the spirit.
-- Meta-humor galore, "Homer Loves Flanders"

{On the drive up, both families are crammed into Ned's station wagon.
Homer consoles, "Don't worry -- I brought my Rappin' Ronnie Reagan tape.
It always makes the trip go faster."  He puts it in, and a Ronald Reagan
sample repeats, "Well, well, weh-weh-well..." Homer laughs, realizing
for the first time that Reagan did in fact say "Well" a lot.}

They arrive at the Lake.  Ned backs the boat trailer into the lake while
Homer guides him.  Homer calls for its release long before it's close to
the water, and it scrapes jarringly along the concrete.  "OK, let's go
boating!" he calls.

On the lake, Ned steers the boat with Homer & Bart, supposedly watching
Todd & Rod water-skiing.  "How are my boys doing, Homer?" asks Ned,
hoping Homer was watching them as they waterskied.  "They're fine," he
answers without looking back.  The handholds skim along the water, no
boys to be seen.

Marge: I hope the children enjoy my special fruit punch.
 Lisa: We got the recipe from the Fruit Punch Advisory Board.
Maude: Oh, gosh, I'm sorry.  Our boys don't eat sugar.
Marge: But why would the Advisory Board give us bad advice?
Maude: No sugar!
        [Marge and Lisa groan]
        [in the woods, in a clearing]
 Todd: Thank you, but we're not allowed.
 Bart: Aw, it's OK.  There's no sugar in Pixie Stix.
        [Rod tries some and his eyes bug out]
  Rod: Don't hog it all, smelly-head.
 Todd: Go to hell, zit face!
        [They roll around fighting for it]
-- What was the root of all evil again?, "Homer Loves Flanders"

At dinner, Homer raises his glass.

Homer: I'd like to propose a toast to the coming together of the
       Simpsons and Flanders.  If this were a more perfect world, we'd
       all be known as the Flimpsons.  So here's to my best friend, Ned.
  Ned: [sighs] Well, sir...my entire family is very touched --
Homer: Food fight!
        [All the Simpsons get into it while the Flanders just get
Homer: [later] Whatcha doin'?
  Ned: We're heading back.  Todd's got Zesty Italian in his eye.
Homer: Oh, OK.  But at least let me take the boat out for one last spin?
  Ned: Oh, I don't know --
Homer: Too late!
  Ned: [groans] Oh Lord, please give me the strength to endure Homer
       Simpson's friendship?
        [Homer jumps the boat high out of the water right onto Ned's
Homer: Your car.  [looks at the full parking lot] Boy, what are the
       odds, huh?  [laughs]
-- "Homer Loves Flanders"

Dr. Hibbert, who is in the parking lot, offers cheers to Homer Simpson
for all his recent charity work.  Everyone cheers.  "Jeers to this rusty
tailgate," he finishes.

Ned walks up a churchtower whistling "Bringing in the Sheaves."  At the
top, he assembles a semi-automatic rifle.  "There's Homer," he says,
shooting at someone in a park, "There's Homer, too.  That's also Homer.
That's also Homer!"  But this latter target is a postal employee, who of
course has his own automatic rifle.  A gunfight breaks out.

       [Ned wakes up, gasping]
Maude: What's the matter, Ned?
  Ned: I...I think I hate Homer Simpson.
        [Homer wakes up, gasping]
Homer: Marge...I think I hate Ted Koppel!  No, wait, I find him
       informative and witty.  'Night.
-- _I'll_ sleep easier, "Homer Loves Flanders"

[End of Act Two.  Time: 15:55]

As Flanders plays basketball with his kids, Homer appears through the
hedge separating the neighbor's houses.

Homer: Hey!  What's up for today, Neddy?
  Ned: Uh, er, Homer, we're gonna visit the boys' grandmother.  Family
       only, you know?
Homer: Right!  No reporters.
  Ned: No, I, I...I mean just the Flanders family.
Homer: [slowly] Oh, OK.  [goes back through the hedge]
 Todd: Oh boy!  Grandma!
  Ned: We're not goin' anywhere.
 Todd: But you said --
  Ned: Er...sometimes to keep from hurting someone's feelings, you have
       to say things that aren't exactly --
  Rod: Lies make baby Jesus cry.
-- You've been told, "Homer Loves Flanders"

Homer decides to try again later.  He walks over with two putters and
knocks on Ned's door, entreating him to go to the Pitch'N'Putt.  Just
then, Flanders smashes his car through the garage door, his family along
for the ride.  Homer chases after them, much to Rod and Todd's chagrin.
Maude begs Ned to step on it, but Ned complains, "I can't!  It's a Geo!"

Homer manages to use the putters to latch onto the trunk with the clubs,
and Ned drags him along for a while.  Fortunately, the Flanders turn a
corner sharply, dislodging Homer.  He rolls off, clanking, and as he
comes to rest, he concludes, "I guess he didn't see me."

    Ned: We did it!  We got rid of --
          [siren wails; Ned is pulled over]
    Ned: I told you, officer, I'm not "hepped up on Goofballs."
 Wiggum: [bored] Yeah, right.
          [a church tour bus drives by]
Lovejoy: Ned Flanders!  I never would have imagined.
          [Ned feels weak with shame, then faints]
 Wiggum: High as a kite, everybody!  Goofballs!
          [forces him into the back of the police car]
         Yeah, where's your Messiah now, Flanders?
-- He's hepped up too, "Homer Loves Flanders"

Sunday.  Ned confesses to weak feelings as his family approaches the
First Church of Springfield.

  Ned: I can't do it, Maude.  I can't face their accusing eyes!
Maude: Oh, don't worry, Ned.  This is a house of love and forgiveness.
        [Ned opens the door]
Crowd: There he is, Ned Flanders!
       The fallen one.
       The evil one.
       Bet he's the one who wrote "Homer" all over the bathroom.
  Ned: Oh, I think we should leave.
Homer: Hey, Flanders, over here!  I got us some kick-ass seats.
-- The shame and humiliation, "Homer Loves Flanders"

Ned and his family scurry up to the front where Homer has saved them a

Lovejoy: Before I get started on today's sermon entitled, "What Ned
         Did," I'd like to congratulate Homer Simpsons on his recent
         charity work.
          [everyone claps politely]
  Homer: [kisses audience] I live to give!
Lovejoy: That's beautiful.  We appreciate the kisses.
-- "Homer Loves Flanders"

Rev. Lovejoy calls for everyone to bow their heads in a silent prayer of
thanksgiving.  Everyone does so.  But Ned can't help but be annoyed by
Homer breathing through his nose, whistling louder and louder.  "Stop
it!"  Flanders cries in anger, "Breathe through your damn mouth!"
Everyone gasps in astonishment.

         Ned: Oh, can't you see this man isn't a hero?  He's annoying.
              He's very, very annoying!
Mrs. Lovejoy: [haughty] Well.  Ned Flanders is just jealous.
         Moe: Aw, the guy's hepped up on Goofballs.
         Abe: Let's sacrifice him to our god!
               [everyone is silent] Come on, we did it all the time in
              the thirties.
-- Paganism in the twentieth century, "Homer Loves Flanders"

A lynch mob takes little time to form.

  Homer: How dare you talk about Ned Flanders like that.  He's a
         wonderful, kind, caring man -- maybe even more so than me.
         There have been times when I lost patience with him -- even
         lashed out at him!  -- but this man has turned every cheek on
         his body.
         If everyone here were like Ned Flanders, there'd be no need for
         heaven: we'd already be there.
          [everyone seems sympathetic]
Lovejoy: Um...well, I think we all owe Ned a heartfelt apology.  We were
         wrong to doubt him.
  Lenny: Hey, that guy's right!
-- Give 'em hell, Timothy, "Homer Loves Flanders"

Marge commends Homer on what a nice thing he did.  Ned, too, is
effusively grateful.

  Ned: Thank you so much, Homer.  You're a true friend.
Homer: Right back at you, buddy.  Now how about that game at the
  Ned: Just try and stop me.
 Bart: I don't get it, Lis.  You said everything would be back to
       normal, but Homer and Flanders are still friends.
 Lisa: Yeah.  Maybe this means the end of our wacky adventures.
        ["Next Thursday at 8:00pm"]
Homer: Guess what, everybody?  My great uncle Boris died and left us his
       old country house!  There's only one catch: they say it's
       haunted.  But I'm sure we can prove 'em wrong by spending the
       weekend there.
  Ned: Hi-diddely-ho, neighbor!
Homer: Get lost, Flanders.
  Ned: Okily dokily.
        [Bart and Lisa sigh]
-- Back to normal at last, "Homer Loves Flanders"

Homer scoffs, "See?  I told you there's nothing to worry about.  This
place isn't --" but he's cut off by the family screaming.

[End of Act Three.  Time: 21:19]

Special thanks to Dave Hall for proofreading and editing this


   {rc}  Ron Carter
   {dh}  Dave Hall
   {th}  Tony Hill
   {dp}  Damian Penny
   {ds}  Dean Scungio
   {ar}  Andrew Ross
This episode summary is Copyright 1997 by James A. Cherry.  Not to be
redistributed in a public forum without permission.  (The quotes
themselves, of course, remain the property of The Simpsons, and the
reproduced articles remain the property of the original authors.  I'm
just taking credit for the compilation.)