[2F08] Fear of Flying

Fear of Flying                                           Written by David Sacks
                                                      Directed by Mark Kirkland
Production code: 2F08                       Original airdate in N.A.: 18-Dec-94
                                                  Capsule revision H, 22-Feb-97

Title sequence

Blackboard :- Ralph won't "morph" if you squeeze him hard enough.
              Ralph won't "morph" if you squeeze him hard/ at cutoff.

Lisa's Solo:- Included for the first time in ages.

Couch      :- The chorus line couch scene.  Recycled.

Did you notice...

Tony Hill:
    ... Homer's caricature resembles one drawn by Eustace Tilley?
    ... Homer wants to forego hoagies for a grinder, a sub, or a foot-
        long hero -- which are all the same thing?
    ... the pilots are drinking in uniform, even though this is
        hideously illegal?
    ... the pets are ashamed of Marge?
    ... Skinner's face on the cover of "Principal's World"?

Matthew Kurth:
    ... Dean Peterson of Springfield University is on the plane?

Dave Hall:
    ... SLH jumping through the hoop in the couch scene?
    ... Moe's bar denizens have the same amount of beer in their mugs?
    ... a bar denizen appears to be interested in Moe's glass rubbing?
    ... the family pets staring at Homer?
    ... some of the She/She patrons drink straight out of the bottle?
    ... the airplane propeller in the corner of the Little Black Box?
    ... the pilots in the Little Black Box are all male?
    ... the airplane mobile in the airline official's office?
    ... Bart drinks milk from his martini glass with his pinky extended?
    ... Homer doesn't wear his seat belt on the plane?
    ... Marge's hair rubs against the top of the TV room entrance?
    ... Marge has two sets of bunny slippers, one white and one blue?
    ... Marge wears her apron over her morning robe?
    ... KBBL still uses record players?
    ... there's a lemon slice in Dr. Zweig's drink?
    ... Marge's hair curls over the edge of the psychiatrist's couch?
    ... the box of tissues next to the psychiatrist's couch?

Voice credits

- Starring
    - Dan Castellaneta (Barney, Homer, Guy Incognito, bartender at
      airport, Abe)
    - Julie Kavner (Marge, Patty, Selma, Mrs. Bouvier, Gramma Bouvier)
    - Nancy Cartwright (Bart, crying Maggie, girl on school bus)
    - Yeardley Smith (Lisa)
    - Hank Azaria (Moe, copilot Alan, radio psychic, men in "Alive!"
      with Spanish accents)
    - Harry Shearer (Lenny, Smithers, maitre d', man who walks into
      airport bar, airline official, radio DJ, man in "Alive!" with full
      mouth, Skinner, Mr. Bouvier)
- Special Guest Voice
    - Ann Bancroft (Dr. Zweig)
    - Ted Danson (Sam Malone)
    - Woody Harrelson (Woody)
    - Rhea Perlman (Carla)
    - Jon Ratzenberger (Cliff)
    - George Wendt (Norm)
- Also Starring
    - Pamela Hayden (lesbian, stewardess)

Movie (and other) references

  + Erica Jong's book "Fear of Flying"
    - episode title
  + "Cheers"
    - well, duh
  + "It's a Wonderful Life" {br}
    - Homer's line about shaking off the dust of this one-horse town is
      a direct quote
  + "Home Alone" {mk}
    - a family member is forgotten on a trip
    - Grampa slaps hands on face and yells just like Macaulay Culkin
  + "Lost in Space"
    - Marge's dream
  + Hitchcock's "North by Northwest"
    - Marge and her mother standing near the cornfield with a biplane
      swooping down
  + "Prince of Tides" {kp}
    - Barbara Streisand plays a psychiatrist called Lowenstein
  + "Say Anything" {sc}
    - male lead sits next to female lead in final scene, promises to
      talk her through her fear of flying

Previous episode references

- [8F07] The VHS Village is shown {dh}
- [8F08] First show with Moe's Love Tester {dh}
- [9F01] Moe and snakes are associated {th}
- [9F08] Bart carries Homer's wallet {wp}
- [9F22], [1F02], [2F03] The family forget Grampa somewhere {rd}
- [1F03] The techno music from "The Hate Box" is heard

Freeze frame fun

- Sign: {mk}
 V H S  V I L L I A G E
 Formerly the Beta Barn
- Sign: {mk}
        S P R I N G F I E L D
  P S Y C H I A T R I C    C E N T E R
 "Because There May Not Be Bugs On You"
- The food Marge prepares: {ddg}
    - pancakes
    - turkey
    - cake
    - bread
    - an ice cream sundae
    - a pitcher of something
    - a (wine) bottle
    - a trifle
    - a club sandwich
    - a pie
    - assorted fruit
    - a ham
    - a fish
    - a plate of hors d'oeuvres (cookies?)
    - some rolls (muffins?)

Animation, continuity, and other goofs

The fire hydrant and "No Parking" sign no longer appears in front of
Moe's Tavern.  {dh}

Moe's snake bites disappear right after Barney lights his shirt and
apron on fire.  {mk}

Moe's glass and towel vanish after the snake bites him.  {dh}

Carl and Lenny have no beer in their mugs.  {mk}

The sugar container magically appears beside Homer.  {dh}

The burn marks on Moe's clothes disappear after he pours the sugar into
his coffee.  {ddg}

There's no coffee in Moe's cup when it spills.  {dh}

When did Moe start serving coffee in his bar?  {dh}

Watch the bottom half of the stained glass window behind Homer suddenly
become an open window.  {mk}

Moe doesn't have a window he can open to be able to toss Homer's
favorite record out of.  {mk}

The front door of Moe's Tavern should open to the right.  {dh}

The family pets disappear when Homer jumps up from the couch.  {dh}

Homer already has alternative bars (e.g., The Jazz Hole, The Aristocrat,
Beer-N-Brawl).  {dh}

The Little Black Box's front door opens from different sides in some
scenes.  {dh}

The landing gear couldn't retract like that.  {th}

The box of tissues moves from one side of the desk to the other.  {dh}

Why would someone with a fear of flying sit by the window?  {th}

There is no way Bart could run over everyone's shoulders.  {mk}

Marge had no problem flying to Washington in 8F01.

Why would the family unpack in the living room?  {dh}

Homer had no problem with sock puppets in 8F14.  {dh}

Lisa's nightgown has no sleeves and no lace on the collar.  {mk}

Lisa's nightgown and slippers are teal instead of blue.  {ddg}

Since when does Homer wear shorts and a T-shirt as sleepwear?  {mk}

Why would Marge put a frosted wedding cake in the oven?  {th}

Dr. Marvin Monroe is/was the family psychiatrist/psychologist.  {dh}

Marge remembers her sisters smoking on her first day of school, but in
7F21, her sisters decide to take up smoking when Marge is quite a bit
older.  {co}

Both tape reels were full.  {th}

Since Marge is 36, she started school 31 years ago, which is before the
Monkees existed.  {th}

Marge's father was a baby photographer after spending time in the Navy,
not a flight attendant.  {dh}

The airplane at the end of the episode has five engines, two under each
wing and one one the tail.  No airplane has that configuration.  {cw}


Tony Hill: This episode was terribly disjointed.  The bar plot was not a
    very good transition to the flying plot, IMHO.  The "Cheers" takeoff
    and the window washer gag were the highlights.  Once again we see
    Homer sort of hovering above the main plot (no pun intended) with no
    real role.  I give it a C, and that includes holiday generosity.

James Simon: I laughed my ass off the whole show. not only was it funny
    as hell but it had some great lines and further proof of Smithers'
    homosexuality.  I think this week's hint gave it away.  The best
    line was when Marge was watching Alive: "Hey, pass me a chunk of
    copilot".  I almost cried.

Peter Kretschman: Not a semblance of congruity to the whole thing!  And
    the gags weren't even all that great (a poor plot can be saved by a
    few "classic" moments).  Also...I don't mind when Homer et all get a
    little out of character, but I felt the writers were pushing it.  I
    give it a D+.

Sylvester Hamilton: I'd love to say this was a good episode...but
    well...it wasn't.  I could hardly tell what it was "about," as it
    hopped from theme to theme (e.g., Homer's bar searching, Marge's
    therapy).  [...] Why try to cram in a season full of plot in one

Marc Singer: This one had too much plot (or rather, too many plots
    crammed into one show).  Honestly, the only funny part was the
    Cheers appearance, and they didn't do anything with it.  (They also
    gave away 90% of it in the #$@%$#@ promos.)

Matthew Kurth: A rather forgettable outing. 6/10

Dave Hall: I thought I'd never actually find myself writing a bad
    review, but I didn't find this episode all that funny or
    interesting.  The plot, well what plot?  It had so many holes.  I
    feel the jokes were either predictable, lame, reused or had a
    generic feeling.

Leighton Shell: I thought this episode was a really good one.  I thought
    that what with all of the recent airline trouble (award winner for
    understatement of the year) it was very topical, and it was the
    first show in a while that was a little controversial.

Mark Irving: Pardon the TV GUIDE pun, but JEERS to the last week's worth
    of advertising that the Cheers gang would be on the Simpsons...It
    was one of the first times I ever PLANNED to watch the Simpsons and
    it lasted less than 20 seconds...LAME!  No less.  Fox should be

John J. Wood: Grade: D. I cannot argue with the negative reviews.  This
    episode was disjointed, its gags formulaic and flat, and its lone
    consolation is that we learn more about Marge.  Yes, it would have
    been nice to have seen more Cheers, but the key word that came to my
    mind after watching it on video again was "stale."

Nick J. Worthey: I have one thing to say about last night's episode:
    "That was a well plotted piece of non clap-trap that never made me
    want to retch!"  [8F20 pun - ed]

Eric Rose: What was up with the 12/18 Fear of Flying episode?  It was
    just not classic stuff.  Marge was totally out of character, Homer
    getting thrown out of Moe's for the sugar bowl trick?!?!  Just not
    funny, IMHO.

Don Del Grande: B - There were a few good moments in the story, but the
    ending to Marge's story wasn't particularly funny, and Homer's story
    has him still unwelcome at Moe's when the show ends.  (Just like
    8F23 ends with Homer in the Spinemelter 2000, and 1F22 ends with the
    (empty) pool still in the backyard, and 2F02 ends without a mayor...

Ryan Maves: It sucked for one simple reason.  Homer is funny.  Bart is
    funny.  Willy the Groundskeeper is funny.  Principal Skinner is
    funny.  The Flanders family is funny.  C. Montgomery Burns is the
    living avatar of "funny".  Even Lisa has her moments of being funny.
    Marge, however, is not and never can be funny.

Yours truly: Not a terribly well-written episode.  The excuse for
    throwing Homer out was forced, the Cheers thing was a bit of a
    waste, and there's no way they could pay for $30/hour psychiatric
    help for Marge.  Some good jokes, but forgettable.  Grade: D-.

Comments and other observations

"It's Raining Men"

Many people correctly identified this song as sung in 1983 by The
    Weather Girls, previously known as Two Tons O'Fun due to the
    Rubenesque statures of its members.  Sylvester, a disco artist who
    died of AIDS a few years ago, used the duo as his backup singers,
    according to Ron Harris.
    Stephen Schwartz says it was written by Paul Shaffer of David
    Letterman fame.  One of the singers is Martha Wash, an enormous
    woman whose voice is probably most recognizable from most of the
    songs on Black Box's 1990 debut album, "Dreamland".  Samples of her
    voice also appear in C&C Music Factory's dance hit, "Everybody Dance
    Now".  (I believe she was uncredited for this, and there was a legal

The "Cheers" scene

Don Del Grande rambles, "The names `Norm' and `Cliff' (and `Malone')
    weren't used, although Woody did say `Mr. Peterson' - I know who
    they were _supposed_ to be, but that definitely was _not_ `Cheers'
    (among other things, the `real' Cheers does not have booths along
    the wall with the windows, and the doorway area is elevated
    slightly); also, why didn't they get Kelsey Grammer to tape a
    `Frasier Crane' line while he was doing 2F02, as there was a Frasier
    character in the scene?  (Two possibilities: one, Frasier and
    Sideshow Bob sound alike; two, NBC is still using the Frasier

The "Little Black Box" bar

Tony Hill notes, "The black box, of course, contains the flight data
    recorded and cockpit voice recorded.  Since it usually survives
    crashes, some wags have suggested building the plane out of `black
    box' material."

For the "Where is Springfield Crowd"

Tony Hill correctly asserts that it can't be in Alaska or Hawaii.  "It's
    also probably not one of the states which border Mexico, since the
    killer bees are in those states already."

Quotes and Scene Summary

(Frederic Briere says there were no syndication cuts in this episode.)

At Moe's Tavern, the regulars sit around the bar.

 Lenny: Hey, Moe...you got change for a five?
   Moe: Yeah, sure thing Lenny.
         [opens cash register]
         [a cobra pops out and bites him repeatedly]
        A snake in the cash register!  [everyone laughs]
        Great prank, fellas, great prank.  Oh, I'm gonna be sick
Barney: Hey Moe, you want to smell my flower?
   Moe: _Do_ I?!  [walks over]
         [Barney holds a lighter under Moe's chest]
        Ooh!  I'm burning up here.  Ooh!  [everyone laughs]
        Aw, taking advantage of my alcohol-soaked clothes.  Ho, ho, it's
        funny _and_ it makes you think.  Oh, I need some coffee before I
        pass out.  Homer, pass me the sugar.
 Homer: [unscrewing lid] This is going to be great!
         [Moe pours sugar in his cup; a whole lot comes out]
Barney: Oh, jeez.
   Moe: Aw, there's sugar all over the bar now.
 Lenny: That's not funny, Homer.
Barney: Yeah!  We were just messing around, and you had to go too far.
-- The subtleties of pranks, "Fear of Flying"

     Moe: How many people want Homer banned from this place for life?
Everyone: Yeah!
   Homer: Aw, come on, everybody.  This bar is like a tavern to me.
     Moe: Sorry, Homer, you should have thought of that before you gave
          me the old sugar-me-do.  I'm taking your caricature down from
          Mount Lushmore [does so] and I'm taking your favorite song out
          of the juke box.
   Homer: [gasps] "It's Raining Men"?
     Moe: Yeah, not no more it ain't.
           [tosses it out like a frisbee]
           [it hits Smithers, who's driving a car]
Smithers: Ow!  [checks title] Ooh!
           [Homer gets tossed out]
   Homer: Oh.  Heh heh heh, joke's on them: I'm still alive.
-- Homer "Eddie Vedder" Simpson, "Fear of Flying"

Bart tries to console his father.

 Bart: Cheer up, Homer.
Homer: Can't.
 Bart: [happily] OK.
Marge: What if you pretended that this couch were a bar?  Then you could
       spend more nights at home with us.  Huh?
Homer: I'm not going to dignify that with an answer.
 Lisa: Look on the bright side, Dad.  Did you know that the Chinese use
       the same word for "crisis" as they do for "opportunity"?
Homer: Yes!  Cris-atunity.
-- Something like that, anyway, "Fear of Flying"

Homer: You're right.  I've been wasting my life away in that dump for
       years.  That's it!  I'm going to find a _new_ bar to drink in,
       and I'm going to get drunker than I've ever been in my entire
       life!  Bart!  Where's my wallet?
 Bart: [pulling it from his own pocket] Right here, Dad!
Homer: Thank you!
-- Homer gives up Moe's Tavern, "Fear of Flying"

The first place Homer goes looks high-priced.

    Homer: Wow, classy.
Maitre D': Good evening, sir.  Would you please leave without a fuss
           right now?
    Homer: [meek] OK.
-- Homer's search for a new bar begins, "Fear of Flying"

As Homer walks to the next bar, a snatch of Cheers-esque music plays.

Homer: Ooh, this looks like a nice friendly place.
Carla: Sammy, you're too old to go on a date with two twins on the same
       night you're supposed to marry Diane without Rebecca knowing.
  Sam: OK, Carla, I'll make you a bet: if this affects my major league
       comeback, I'll sell my bar.
 Norm: Woody...gimme a beer.
Woody: I think you've had enough, Mr. Peterson.  My chiropractor says I
       can't carry you home any more.
 Norm: Just gimme another beer, you brain-dead hick!  [grabs wine
       bottle, smashes it, holds it by the neck]
       I'll kill you!  I'll kill all of you!
Cliff: [restraining him] Whoa, settle down, Normy.  Gotta save those
       pipes for Karaoke.
Homer: [gasps] Whoa!  [runs out]
 Norm: I love you guys...[weeps]
-- You wanna go where everybody knows their character, "Fear of Flying"

The next bar Homer tries has two female zodiacal symbols interlocking on
the sign above the door.

Homer: Wait a minute...there's something bothering me about this place.
       [looks around] I know!  This lesbian bar doesn't have a fire
       exit.  Enjoy your death trap, ladies.  [leaves]
Woman: What was her problem?
-- Homer at the "She-She Club", "Fear of Flying"

Back at Moe's Tavern, a man in a top hat with a mustache walks in.  He
looks and sounds like Homer, only he has a British accent.

  Guy: Greetings, good men.  Might I trouble you for a drink?
  Moe: Oh, get out of here, Homer.
  Guy: Homer?  Who is Homer?  My name is Guy Incognito.
        [he gets beaten up and tossed out, unconscious]
Homer: [walks up, looks at Guy] [gasps] Oh my God!  This man is my exact
       double.  [gasps] Oh my God!  That dog has a puffy tail!
        [he chases it, giggling] Here, Puff!  Here, Puff!
-- A great moment passes Homer by, "Fear of Flying"

Homer's quest takes him to the airport.

        Homer: The last bar in Springfield...if they don't let me in
               here, I'm going to have to quit drinking!
Homer's liver: Yay!
        Homer: Shut up, liver!  [punches it] Ow!  My liver hurts...
                [walks in] I'd like a beer, please.
    Bartender: Uh, sorry, you gotta be a pilot to drink in here.
        Homer: Um, but I _am_ a pilot.
    Bartender: Where's your uniform?
        Homer: Um...I stowed it safely in the overhead compartment.
    Bartender: Well, you talk the talk.  Here's a loaner.  [gives him a
-- Homer in "The Little Black Box", "Fear of Flying"

A man bursts in, breathless.

  Man: We need a pilot, pronto!  Who wants to fly to the Windy City?
        [pilots all go, "Oh, I'll go!", "Me", "I'm your man", etc.]
  Man: Conditions are a little windy.
        [pilots all go, "Well", "I dunno", "Never mind", etc.]
  Man: [to Homer] You!
Homer: [now dressed as a pilot] But I --
  Man: Hey...you're not just impersonating a pilot so you can drink
       here, are you?
Homer: Yeah.  That's exactly why I'm here.
  Man: [laughs] You fly boys, you crack me up.
Homer: [being pushed into the cockpit] But I keep telling you I'm not a
  Man: And I keep telling you you fly boys crack me up!
-- "Fear of Flying"

 Alan: Hi, I'm Alan.  I'm your copilot.
Homer: Uh, yeah, uh, hmm.  Er, uh, as a change of pace, I'm going to let
       you do most of the work.  I think you're ready for it, Alan.
        [Alan makes a face]
       And, um, I'll just get us started.
        [flips a switch randomly]
 Alan: Uh, we'll need that to live.
        [Homer flips another switch; the wheels retract and the plane
       smashes into the runway]
-- Homer, involuntary pilot, "Fear of Flying"

A senior airline official talks to Homer in his office.

Official: If word gets out about this, Krazy Klown Airlines will be a
          laughingstock.  In exchange for your silence, I'm prepared to
          offer your family free tickets to anywhere in the United
          States.  Excluding Alaska and Hawaii, the freak states.
   Homer: Woo hoo!
           [at home]
          Good news, everybody!  Because I endangered lives, we can fly
          anywhere we want!
    Bart: Alaska!
    Lisa: Hawaii!
-- Well, _almost_ anywhere, "Fear of Flying"

Marge seems less than keen.

Marge: Er, I don't know, Homer.  We're right in the middle of the busy
       housekeeping season.
Homer: But Marge, you deserve a vacation.  It's a chance for you to
       clean up after us in a whole other state!
Marge: I don't want to be a wet blanket, but getting on a plane like
       that seems like a hassle coupled with a burden.
Homer: Come on, Marge, I want to shake off the dust of this one-horse
       town.  I want to explore the world.  I want to watch TV in a
       different time zone.  I want to visit strange, exotic malls.  I'm
       sick of eating hoagies.  I want a grinder, a sub, a foot-long
       hero...I want to _live_, Marge!  Won't you let me _live_?  Won't
       you please?!
-- Passionate pleas, "Fear of Flying"

So Marge, of course, gives in.  Homer chomps peanuts contentedly.

Homer: So, Marge, pretty sweet, eh?
Marge: Hmm.  Oh, I forgot to clean the lint basket in the dryer.  If
       someone broke into the house and did laundry, it could start a
        [a baby starts crying]
 Bart: Oh, great.  I specifically asked not to be seated next to a baby.
        [camera pulls back to reveal Maggie crying]
  Abe: [looking out window] Wow...we must be _really_ flying high!
       Those people down there look all tiny and blurry...just like the
       inside of a cataract.
-- Conversation while the plane is on the ground, "Fear of Flying"

Stewardess: [over PA] Attention passengers.  Due to our policy of
            overselling flights, this flight has been oversold.  In
            accordance with FAA rules, the first two people to the front
            will be upgraded to first class.
             [everyone rushes madly; Bart and Lisa climb over everyone]
Stewardess: OK, you two!
      Lisa: Come on, Bart!  They're going to pamper us!
      Bart: [gasps]
      Lisa: Not _literally_, of course.
             [in first class, someone fills Bart's martini glass with
      Bart: I come for the service, [sigh] but I stay for the leg room.
             [Lisa roasts marshmallows over a mini-fire on her tray]
-- "Fear of Flying"

The pilot announces, "Flight crew, prepare for takeoff."  Marge starts
hyperventilating and shredding a napkin.  When the seatbelt sign comes
on, she panics.

Marge: [panicked] I think I'll go get a picture of the plane taking off.
       [struggles with her seat belt]
Homer: Marge, what's wrong?  Are you hungry?  Sleepy?  Gassy?  Is it
       gas?  It's gas, isn't it?
Marge: Homer, I've never told you this before, but I'm not a good flyer.
       [pants, gasps] I have to get off the plane.  Let me off the
       plane.  [stands up] I'm asking you nicely to open the doors!
Homer: Take it easy, Marge.  How about if we dope you up real good?
Marge: [screaming] Let me off let me off let me off let me off let me
       off let me off -- [runs up and down the aisle]
        [the plane takes off as the family watches]
Homer: It's OK, Marge.  We don't need to go on a trip; we'll just wait
       for the killer bees to come to us.
-- Homer, consoling, "Fear of Flying"

[End of Act One.  Time: 8:33]

The family unpack their suitcases at home.

 Bart: You know, I have this feeling that we forgot something...
  Abe: [still on the plane] Aaaaah!
Homer: Ehh, I'm sure it's nothing.
 Lisa: Mom, are you feeling any better?
Marge: Yes, but I'd rather not talk about it.
Homer: Permit _me_ to solve the mystery: your mother has a fear of
 Bart: So much for the days when I could say, "At least my _mother_'s
Marge: Well, everybody's got a fear of something.
Homer: Not everybody.
Marge: [to Homer] Sock puppets!
Homer: Where?!  Where?!  Aah!  Aah!
 Lisa: Mom, are you _sure_ you don't want to discuss it?
Marge: Sure as sugar...[laughs awkwardly]
-- No dysfunctionality here, "Fear of Flying"

Homer: Lisa, the important thing is for your mother to repress what
       happened.  Push it deep down inside her, so she'll never annoy us
 Lisa: But if we don't encourage her to vent her feelings, they can come
       out in other ways.
Marge: I just realized we never had a wedding for the cat and the dog...
       they've been living in sin!
        [the pets whimper]
-- Not with each other, but..., "Fear of Flying"

The kitchen table is covered with lavishly prepared food.  Marge stands
in front of the stove, three boiling pots on the go.  The rest of the
family walks to the kitchen door.

 Lisa: Mom, you've been cooking all night?
Marge: [happy] Judge, jury, and executioner, all rolled into one, you
 Lisa: See, Dad, I told you Mom would have problems.
Marge: No, no, honey, it's all right.  Really, I'm fine, I'm all right.
       Mother always said, "Don't complain.  Be good.  Behave.  Behave.
       Be nice.  Smile.  Be polite.  Don't wink..." [walks out]
Homer: You heard your mother's ramblings.  She's fine, so behave.
-- Homer, attuned to Marge's needs, "Fear of Flying"

That night, in bed, Homer is awakened by hammering.  He rolls over, sees
Marge isn't there, goes to the window, and opens it.

Homer: Marge, it's 3 a.m.!  Shouldn't you be baking?
Marge: In a little while.
-- Marge hammers shingles at night, "Fear of Flying"

The next day, as Marge sits on the couch, the family approaches her.

 Lisa: Mom, can we talk to you?
Marge: Can't talk.  Keeping myself in a state of catlike readiness.
 Lisa: Uh, neat.
-- "Fear of Flying"

   Lisa: Anyway, Mom, maybe you should go into therapy.
  Marge: No, I don't need therapy, I'm fine.  And it's too expensive.
  Homer: And I don't believe in it!  It breaks up families, turns wives
         against husbands, children against fathers, neighbors against
         me.  You don't have to pay some fancy psychiatrist ten bucks an
         hour to get top-notch therapy.
          [at KBBL]
Psychic: Hello, "Radio Psychic".  You will die a terrible, terrible
  Marge: [on the phone] [gasps]
Psychic: Ooh, I'm sorry!  That was our last caller.  OK, I'm getting
         something now.  Hmm.  OK, you will die a terrible, terrible
  Marge: But I --
     DJ: Thank you for calling "Radio Psychic".  Do you have a song
  Homer: [running to the phone] "It's Raining Men"!
-- Homer "Waylon" Simpson, "Fear of Flying"

At the VHS Village, Homer chooses some videos to help Marge out.

   Homer: Now Marge, "Dear Abby" says seeing films about air travel can
          calm your fears.  Ooh!  Here are some upbeat titles: "Hero",
           [at home, Marge watches them]
   Man 1: No thanks to the plane, many of us are still...
Everyone: Alive!
   Man 2: [through full mouth] We certainly are.  [chews]
   Man 3: Pass me another hunk of copilot.
    Lisa: Dad, Mom's getting worse.  You have to take her to see a real
          psychiatrist.  Look how tense she is!
   Homer: She's fine!
           [camera shows Marge sitting on air]
-- Rigid, not tense, "Fear of Flying"

The family take her to a psychiatrist the next day.

Homer: [sarcastic] All right, Lisa, you got your way.  Your Mom's going
       to a psychiatrist.  She's going to tell Marge to leave me.  It'll
       break up the family and you'll have to live with your grandmother
       and pick beans.
 Lisa: Dad, I like picking beans with Gramma.
Homer: Well, keep it up, then.
 Lisa: [sarcastic] OK, I will.
Homer: Good.  You do that.
 Lisa: Fine.
Homer: You'll be picking many a bean.
 Lisa: Hope I do.
-- Homer gives his kids sarcasm lessons, "Fear of Flying"

Bart espies Principal Skinner reading a "Principal's World" magazine.

   Bart: I don't believe it!  Principal Skinner.  Well, well, well, I
         never thought I'd win _this_ easy.
Skinner: Hmph.  This has nothing to do with you, Simpson.  I have many,
         many issues with my beloved smother -- mother.
  Homer: Bart, leave that man alone with his pain and sit down.
   Bart: [abashed] OK.
          [Homer laughs at Skinner, makes crazy noises at him]
-- Homer, sensitive to mental illness, "Fear of Flying"

Homer and Marge meet the psychiatrist.

Homer: All right, how much do you charge?
Zweig: If money's a problem, I charge on a sliding scale.  I can go as
       low as $30 an hour.
Homer: Keep sliding.
Marge: $30 will be fine.
Homer: Whoa, whoa whoa whoa whoa!  First, what are your qualifications?
Zweig: Well -- [she motions to a wall of diplomas]
Homer: Oh, no.  I'm not here to take a reading test.  I want to see some
Marge: Mph, I'm sorry, Doctor, he's just afraid you'll blame all my
       problems on him.
Zweig: I'm not here to blame anyone.
        [she double-underlines "Husband" on a pad of paper]
-- The first meeting with Dr. Zweig, "Fear of Flying"

Zweig: Marge, therapy can be an intense process.
Marge: Uh huh...
Zweig: We're going to delve deeply into your subconscious and we're not
       going to stop until we've exposed the root of your fear of
Marge: Mmm...
Zweig: Don't worry.  This is a private sanctuary where whatever
       transpires will be just between us.
        [Homer, dressed as a window washer, appears at the window]
Marge: Huh?
Zweig: Oh, that's just Murray the window washer.  He comes every day at
Marge: But it's a few seconds before 12:00.
        [Murray drops down on Homer, knocking him off]
-- Marge's first session, "Fear of Flying"

[End of Act Two.  Time: 13:30]

Marge comes out of a therapy session to be greeted by Homer.

Homer: Ever since you started therapy, all you can do is talk about
       yourself.  Well what about _me_, Marge?
Marge: I just left my first session and I haven't even opened my mouth
Homer: You see?  You see?  "_I_ just left _my_ first session and _I_
       haven't opened _my_ mouth yet".
-- Homer traps Marge, "Fear of Flying"

At Marge's next session...

Zweig: Marge, there's no simple explanation for your fear of flying.
       But it can probably be traced to some childhood trauma.  Think
       back...what's the earliest memory you have of something bad
Marge: Hmm...that would have to be my first day of school.
Patty: They got this thing called a "fire drill".  They use it to drill
       a flaming hole in your head.
Marge: Mmm...
Selma: And there's only one big toilet, and they make you all go at the
       same time.  [laughs]
-- The sensitive Bouvier twins, "Fear of Flying"

Marge: [voice over] The kids at school were even worse.
        [young Marge gets on the bus, sits next to a girl]
 Girl: [seeing her lunch pail] Ew!  You like the Monkees?  You _know_
       they don't write their own songs.
Marge: They do so!
 Girl: They don't even play their own instruments.
Marge: No...no!
 Girl: That's not even Michael Nesmith's real hat.
Marge: Aah!
        [back in the present]
Zweig: Kids can be so cruel.
Marge: But it's true.  They didn't write their own songs _or_ play their
       own instruments.
Zweig: The Monkees weren't about music, Marge.  They were about
       rebellion, about political and social upheaval!
        [Marge smiles, relieved]
-- Dr. Zweig does her job, "Fear of Flying"

The family watches TV that night.

Homer: [sullen] Did you talk about me in therapy today?
Marge: I don't think so.
Homer: Tell me the truth!  [gasps] Don't tell her I raised my voice.
       [laughs nervously] Happy family, happy family...
-- "Fear of Flying"

In the next therapy session...

Marge: I keep having the same dream.  I'm the mother from "Lost in
        [scene shift to Marge's dream]
Marge: Ready for breakfast, Dr. Smith?
Homer: Oh, being stuck on this godforsaken planet has vanquished what
       little appetite I have.  [sits down, mows down]
 Lisa: [as a robot] Warning.  Warning.  Dr. Smith refuses to do his
Homer: Why, you clattering clank of cogs and -- my fair lady, as you
       well know, my back is a disaster area.  Oh, the pain.  Oh, the
       pain of it all!
 Lisa: Danger.  Danger.  My hook are flailing wildly.
        [a rocket takes off]
Marge: Wait!  Wait, Daddy, please don't leave.  Take me with you!
        [back to the office]
Zweig: Marge, are you aware you just said "Please don't leave" to your
Marge: No I didn't.
Zweig: Yes you did.  And you also infringed on any number of copyrights.
-- Dr. Zweig, psychiatric lawyer, "Fear of Flying"

Zweig: Now...let's talk about your father.
Marge: [hurried] Sure.  OK, I'll talk about father...Father Christmas.
       That's what they call Santa Claus in England.  They drive on the
       wrong side of the road there.  Now _that's_ crazy.  [laughs
       nervously] People are always saying how small England is but you
       couldn't fit it all in here, not by a long shot.  [laughs again]
       You know what?  I'm cured.  [gets up to leave]
Zweig: Marge, get back here and tell me about your father.
Marge: OK.  OK, but you're going to make a big deal out of this.  He was
       a pilot.
Zweig: A pilot?!  This _is_ a big deal.
Marge: You see?
-- Self-fulfilling prophecies., "Fear of Flying"

Dr. Zweig laughs nervously.

Zweig: Er, Marge, this may not be the best time to bring this up, but,
       uh, your last check bounced.
Marge: Wait, I'm remembering something.
Zweig: Yes, Marge, there's still the matter of --
Marge: I was a little girl...
        [flashback to Marge holding Daddy's hand]
Daddy: Goodbye, Margie.  Be a good girl, now.  [gets on plane]
Marge: Why does Daddy have to leave?
Mommy: Because he's a pilot.  He flies all over the world.
Marge: I want to see Daddy fly.  [runs up plane steps]
Mommy: Margie!  No, come back!
        [Marge gets inside, looks around]
Marge: Daddy?  Daddy, where are --
Daddy: [a steward] So, who wants pre-flight cookie?  Fig Newtons?
Marge: Daddy?  Aah!
Daddy: Don't look at me.  Don't look at me!
-- The shameful truth comes out, "Fear of Flying"

Back in the present...

Marge: [weeping] My father was a stewardess!
Zweig: Marge, there's nothing to be ashamed of here.  Today, male flight
       attendants or "stewards" are common.
Marge: They are?
Zweig: Yes, thanks to trailblazers like your father.  You might say he
       was a pioneer.
Marge: Yeah...you might even say he was an American hero.
Zweig: Let's not go nuts.
-- Too late, "Fear of Flying"

Dr. Zweig concludes, "The important thing is that we've pinpointed the
precise moment when you developed your fear of flying."  But Marge
starts remembering some other stuff.  As a baby, she remembers her
grandmother trying to feed her with a spoon, saying "Here comes the
airplane" but taking a long time to put the spoon in baby's mouth.  As a
young girl, a toy plane she was riding in caught fire.  Her mother takes
her to a cornfield once, when a biplane swoops down and fires its
machine guns at her.

Marge: Do you think those things could also have contributed to my fear
       of flying?
Zweig: [brusque] Yes, yes, it's all a rich tapestry.
Marge: Oh, well, thank you doctor.  You've changed my life!
Zweig: You know, Marge, we've really just begun to scratch the surface.
       There's still the far more serious problem of your husband.
Homer: [walking in] That's OK, you don't have to make her into some kind
       of superwoman.  She can get on a plane, that's plenty.  [rushes
       Marge out]
Marge: Thank you, doctor.  Whenever the wind whistles through the
       leaves, I'll think "Lowenstein", "Lowenstein".
Zweig: My name is Zweig.
Marge: [whispering] Lowenstein...
-- Marge the old honeydripper, "Fear of Flying"

The family finally get on a plane together.

Homer: Don't worry about a thing, honey.  I'm going to help you through
        [he and Marge sit down; some noises occur]
       Those are all normal noises.  Luggage compartment closing...cross
       checking...just sit back and relax.
        [shot from outside the plane]
       That's just the engine powering up...that's just the engine
        [the plane drives off the runway into a swamp]
       That's just a carp swimming around your ankles...
Marge: Mmm...
-- Not much help allaying those fears, "Fear of Flying"

[End of Act Three.  Time: 19:50]


   {sc}  Scott Chupack
   {ddg} Don Del Grande
   {rd}  Rick Diamant
   {dh}  Dave Hall
   {th}  Tony Hill
   {mk}  Matthew Kurth
   {co}  Chris O'Malley
   {wp}  Werner Peeters
   {kp}  Kimmo Pyykk|
   {br}  Brendan Riley
   {cw}  Craig Williams
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.)