War of the Simpsons

War of the Simpsons                                Written by John Swartzwelder
                                                      Directed by Mark Kirkland

Title sequence

Blackboard :- `I will not do anything bad ever / again'.
              `I will not do anything b' at cutoff.

Driveway   :- no oil on the driveway.
              Homer does not shake his fist at Bart.
              Homer says `D'oh!' when Lisa scoots past.

Couch:     :- Homer's breadth knocks everyone else off one by one.

Didja notice ...

   ... the banner `Eat Drink and Be Merry' at the party?
   ... Marge wears lozenge-shaped earrings?
   ... Mrs. Flanders' name is Maude?  And Mrs. Lovejoy's name is Helen?
   ... the car parked on the Simpsons front lawn at the party?
   ... Barney had zipped his fly up on his shirt tail? [Justin Masters]
       He also did this in `Principal Charming'.  {jpc}
   ... when Homer drunkenly tells off one of the guests, the hors
       d'oeuvres platter still reads, ``Boy, our party sucks''.
       (Apparently, Marge's cooking skills need honing.)
   ... Homer slept on the cat?  (When he gets up the next morning, a
       very frightened Snowball II scurries away.)
   ... the music Marge uses to drown out her argument with Homer is the
       same music that the doctor used in `Simpson and Delilah' to drown
       out his conversation with Homer?
   ... when Homer was explaining to Bart why he acted the way he did
       the previous night, there is a model of the Road-Runner on Bart's
       dressing table? {cjb}
   ... Marge's hat she wore in church, precariously balanced atop her
       impressive coiffure?
   ... Maggie was tossing things into the shopping cart?  (Compare 7[FG]13.)
   ... that Marge was losing her voice as she neared the end of her list
       of Homer's shortcomings? {dwt}
   ... the oil spot is back in the driveway when Homer and Marge come home?
   ... Maggie fell only once?  (When Marge notes how wonderful the
       house looks.)

Ron Carter {rc}:

   ... Adolf Hitler looking disapprovingly at Homie in church?
   ... Enjoy More Worms Today?
   ... Leaches $.50?  Yeah, some fishers really do use leeches to fish.
       And the sign was indeed spelled, `leaches'.
   ... the Sew and Sew store in (lovely) downtown Springfield?

[Sanders Bayne (sanders.bayne@canrem.uucp) notes]

   ... Ned stuffs the whole bottle of alchohol into Homer's glass?
   ... Dr. Hibert's wife looks like Claire on the Cosby Show?
   ... Behind Rev. Lovejoy during the trust excercise, there was a picture of
       a person who seemed lost?
   ... one of the baby twins in church had a bowl on her head during the party?

Dave Hall {dh}:
At the party...
   ... Possible Maggie fall-down: Maggie sort of hangs on to the edge of the
       table, waves her little hand and either falls, or lets go.
   ... Ned was wearing a pink shirt and tie under his sweater?  (That
       free-thinking anarchist!)
   ... there was a car parked on the front lawn near the windows?  (How did
       it get there?)
   ... Rev. Lovejoy and his wife was at the party?  Homer had the lampshade
       on, jumps on top of the couch, fell over, spilling Rev. Lovejoy's
       drink on himself.  (Note that the spilt drink is actually an animation
       goof as it was drawn in after Lovejoy dropped his glass.)
   ... when Marge throws the coats on the bed, there appears to be what looks
       like a rather tall wig on top of the dresser?
   ... at the end of the party, Dr. Hibert actually helps his wife over Homer?

After the party...
   ... in Homer's flash back, his 2 strands of hair were styled back in the
       form of a wave?  Slick!
   ... in the babysitter's flashback, there's only a tiny spot of oil in the
   ... when Homer & Marge drive away, Marge's head (including her hair) is
       sticking out the car door window.
   ... the wide shot of the resort shows 5 cars parked?  If there were three
       couples and the Lovejoys, that would still leave one car not accounted
       for.  Did one of the couples drive to the retreat in different cars?
   ... when you see the three couples for the first time, each couple's
       spouse is sitting apart?
   ... there appears to be a spot of oil under one of the school buses?
       (As seen while Bart is talking to Auto.)
   ... according to the line marks, the Convict, with a rather large earring,
       has been in prison for 30 days, or 2 1/2 years, depending on what
       each line meant?
   ... the pay(?) phone outside the cell of the convict?  (Kind of hard, if
       not impossible, for him to make calls.)

Movie References

    Hirschfield drawings in New York Times (and New Yorker covers)
        - Homer's recollection of the party. {sf}
    The Algonquin Round Table
        - Homer's recollection of the party. {dk2}  ({dk2} claims the
          reference is blatant.  I'm taking his word for it, though
          the Algonquin Round Table wasn't a movie...)
  ~ The Omen
        - Damien and his mother are drive through some version of Lion
          Country Safari.  The creatures outside the car shriek in
          terror as the devil's child approaches.  Creepy choral music in
          the background adds to the effect. {ct}
  ~ Pet Semetary (and any other movie with a bad Maine accent)
        - the bait shop owner {re}
    Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Richard Burton and Liz Taylor)
        - "She's a harpie... Here's your crown..."
    Adam's Rib
        - "I was faking.  I can turn it on and off like a faucet." {rc}
    Old Man and the Sea? {rc}

Animation Goofs

Sanders Bayne observes that Homer rows back with both paddles in good condition
even though he broke one on General Sherman's head.

Dave Hall reports:

Before getting maced, Barny is holding his mug in his left hand.
Afterwards, the mug is shown in his right hand.

Bart, Lisa, & Maggie are looking out the window at the station-wagon.
This scene is somewhat impossible as the front bay windows are not
parallel to the driveway.  Another "possible" goof is the station wagon
parked facing the street.  The night before, Homer's car appears to be
the only car in the driveway. (But, there was a station-wagon parked on
the street.)

In the Baby Sitter's flash back, the movement of the position indicator
does not match the movement of the handle when "Baby Bart" puts the car in

Chris Baird notes:

When Maggie was trying to climb onto the table, the colour of the `Maggie
Baggie' was blue, but afterwards when the parents run out of the Dining
room in a panic, Maggie's overall has turned pink.


Songs at the party, courtesy of Ron Carter {rc}

 "It's Not Unusual"
 "Look of Love"
 "That's the Way (Uh Huh) I Like It"
 "The Lineman"

New pamphlets available at the church, courtesy of Ron Carter {rc}

 "Bible Bafflers"
 "Satan's Boners"
 "Good Grief, More Satan's Boners"
 And for the teens, "It's Not Cool to Fry in Hell"

The shopping list


Ice cream, courtesy of Ron Carter {rc}

 Chocolate Brownie Fudge
 Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Chip

Bart's party

 An indoor `Slip 'n' Slide'. {rc}
 Milhouse marking the distance in the banister jump. {rc}
 The kids playing David Letterman by throwing tomatoes into a fan. {rc}
 Two kids tossing a vase back and forth.  (Presumably, the same
     vase that Bart glues back together during the clean-up.) {rc}
 Wendell pukes into a trash can. [Josh Mercer (joshm@pnet01.cts.com)]

Sanders Bayne (sanders.bayne@canrem.uucp) adds:
    Nelson the bully throws something in Wendell's face.
    There was a kid in the kitchen with paper towel tied around his eyes.

    The motorcyclist at Bart's party has a passing resemblance to V Day
    aka Douglas Vincent Day. (Animal House) {cjb}

Dave Hall reports:

The pan shot of the living room:
   -  The girl laying on piano stool, which is place on top of the piano
   -  Jimbo and some other kid shoving (stealing?) stuff into a bag.

The pan shot of kitchen:
   -  Kid throwing stuff out of cabinet
   -  Kid blindfolds himself with paper towels
      (Animation goof- Kid head moves under feet of kid throwing stuff out of
   -  Kid washing Snowball II in sink.

Lisa gives a cross-eyed look Lisa gives as the motorcycle drives by spitting
out fumes?

At the bait and tackle store...

    ``Duff sold here'', ``buck food''

Dave Hall points out, ``if the pictures/trophies hanging on the wall
of the bait shop is an indication of what is caught in the nearby lake(s),
then I would like to hear the story about the shark, which appears below
General Sherman.''

The shopping list Lisa was holding:

    [from memory, probably erroneous; anybody with freeze-frame
     care to make corrections?]

Homer's recollection of the party

Dave Kessler, via Ben Morss (morss@husc.harvard.edu):

The part where Homer is imagining himself being very erudite and witty at
his party is straight out of something called `The Algonquin Round Table',
or something like that.  It might also have had to do with Virginia Woolf.
He says that there is no question about it, that the reference was very

billl@june.cs.washington.edu (William Longabaugh):

This scene has previously been called a reference to Abe Hirshfeld's
drawings, but I don't think that's right.  Both times I've watched the
scene I also thought it was a reference to the Algonquin Round Table.  I
don't know much about it, but it was part of the 1930-40's (?) social
scene in New York City; the Algonquin is a hotel near Times Square.  I
stayed there once with my parents years ago and I remember drawings of the
Round Table in the lobby that looked just like the stuff in the Simpson's
scene.  I think the drawings are pretty well-known, thus the reference in
the show.  While the style is similar to Hirshfeld's, I think the Round
Table stuff predates him.

wab@worf.Rational.COM (Bill Baker):

The Algonquin round table was not a book or a movie; it was a famous group
of writers who used to meet at the Algonquin Hotel and exchange witty
repartee.  Supposedly, most of those Dorothy Parker quotes people are
always attributing to other people were originally exchanged as bon mots at
the round table.  I think maybe W.S. Merwin and Moss Hart were part of the
circle, but I'm not sure.  At any rate, it was a very `New Yorker' clan,
and as is noted in the summary the cartoon style of that sequence is
reminiscent of Hirschfeld or `New Yorker' covers.

merlyn@digibd.com (Merlyn LeRoy):

No one had yet brought the Hirschfeld & Algonquin threads together yet,
so I will.  Hirschfeld has <drawn> Algonquin get-togethers (he's older than
dirt); I remember one of Harpo playing golf on the table, with Dorothy
Parker, George S. Kaufmann, et al.  He was probably considered a fringe

Quotes and scene summary

 Marge puts the finishing touches on the party preparations.
   Mmm... Horse doovers...
   -- Homer helps himself to the party snacks, ``War of the Simpsons''
   Marge: [slaps Homer's hand] Homer!  You promised.
   Homer: I promised I wouldn't eat?  Never!  You lie!
   -- Homer helps himself to the party snacks, ``War of the Simpsons''
 Marge explains that they're throwing a party to pay back all the
 friends who had invited them over.
   Homer: Never thrown a party?  What about that big bash we had with all
          the champagne and musicians and holy men and everything?
   Marge: That was our wedding!
   Homer: Oh.
   -- pre-party discussion, ``War of the Simpsons''
 Marge sends the kids to bed, though Lisa wants to hear the witty banter
 of sophisticated adults, and Bart complains, ``You can't have any
 fun in bed.''  Homer chuckles, ``When you're older, you'll know better'',
 and thinks of eating a hoagie in bed.   The doorbell rings.
   Marge: Oh, they're here.  How does everything look?
   Homer: Yeah, how do I look?
   Marge: Do we have enough glasses?
   Homer: Do we have enough gag ice cubes?
   Marge: Homer, Homer, put a record on.
   Homer: What are all our friends' names again?
   -- pre-party panic, ``War of the Simpsons''
 Ned, Maude, and Moe are the first guests.
   And the house!  You've done...
   [looks at the living room; nothing spectacular]  Whatever!
   -- Ned tries to compliment the Simpsons, ``War of the Simpsons''
 Ned mixes a drink...
   Homer: Hey, Flanders, next time why don't you put a little alcohol in it!
   Ned:   Au contraire, Simpson.  It has three shots of rum, a jigger of
          bourbon, and just a little daberilla of creme de cassis for flavor.
   Homer: Really?  Well, I do have a warm sense of well-being, and I sheem
          to be slurring my speech.  You're right!  Gimme another.
   -- Flanders demonstrates his mixological skills, ``War of the Simpsons''
   Marge: Homer, go easy on the alkyhol.  Remember last year at the Winfields'
          party when you threw up in the laundry hamper?
   Homer: No.
   Marge: Mm.
   -- Homer starts getting tipsy, ``War of the Simpsons''
 The party is in full swing, sort of...
   Hey!  You're Homer's sister-in-law, right?
   I remember you.  But I don't remember you being so beau[burp]tiful.
   [she maces him]  Oh, ow, hey, [burp] [cough]
   Is that a new kind of mace?  It's really painful.
   -- Barney talks to Patty (or is it Selma?), ``War of the Simpsons''
 Dr. Hibert is not amused by Homer's gag ice cube.  Bart swipes some
 `horse doovers'', and Homer asks him to do ``that thing you know how
 to do'' for the adults.  Bart doesn't know what he's talking about,
 so Homer sends him to bed.  Later that evening, Homer makes a fool of
 himself with a lampshade on his head.  Meanwhile, Maggie gets into
 the pile of coats and makes confetti of the dollar bills.  Homer drunkenly
 tells off a guest, and looks down Maude's dress.  The guests leave...
   Dr. Hibert:  If you want him to live through the night, I suggest you
       roll him onto his stomach.
   Marge: Thank you, I will, Dr. Hibert.  Thanks for coming.
   Dr. Hibert:  Remember, I said `if'.
   -- The party's over, ``War of the Simpsons''
       [And notice that she didn't roll him over! -- Chuck Anderson]
 The next morning, Marge vacuums around Homer, and drags him into the car.
   Bart: They're fighting in the car again.
   Lisa: That music always sends a chill down my spine.
   -- The kids watch Marge and Homer talk in the car, ``War of the Simpsons''
 Marge asks Homer if he remembers how he acted at the party, and Homer's
 recollection is most flattering to himself, then his memory kicks in,
 and he realizes what really happened.
   I like to think that I am a patient, tolerant woman, and that there
   was no line you could cross that would make me stop loving you.
   But last night, you didn't just cross that line, you threw up on it!
   -- Marge, ``War of the Simpsons''
 Marge says she's going to church alone.
   Marge: You are going to stay here and explain to Bart why you scarred
          him for life.
   Homer: No, I didn't!  I ... Oh, you mean inside, don't you.
   -- ``War of the Simpsons''
 Homer talks to Bart.
   Homer: About last night.  You might have noticed Daddy acting a little
          strange and you probably don't understand why.
   Bart:  I understand why.  You were wasted.
   -- Damage control, ``War of the Simpsons''
   Homer: I'm sorry it happened, and I just hope you didn't lose a lot of respect
          for me.
   Bart:  Dad, I have as much respect for you as I ever did or ever will.
   Homer: Awww.... [pats Bart's head]
   -- Damage control, ``War of the Simpsons''
 In church...
   We have some new pamphlets available in our church newsrack, including
   `Bible Bafflers', `Satan's Boners', `Good Grief: More Satan's Boners'
   and for the teens, `It's Not Cool to Fry in Hell'.
   -- Rev. Lovejoy, ``War of the Simpsons''
 Homer tries to sneak into church, but his squeaky shoes give him away.
 Rev. Lovejoy invites all interested parties to his marriage retreat.
 Marge signs up for it, despite Homer's attempts to stop her.

 [End of Act One.  Time: 7:00]

 Homer learns the retreat is at Catfish Lake and plans to get some fishing
 done, but Marge tells him there will be no fishing.  The babysitter arrives
 but recognizes Bart and screams in terror when she remembers how baby Bart
 managed to start the car and drive it across the lawn.
   Marge:  Grampa, could you do something?
   Grampa: I can dress myself.
   -- Asking Grampa to babysit the kids, ``War of the Simpsons''
 Grampa agrees to babysit the kids, and Homer secrets a tackle box in
 the car trunk.  Marge leaves the kids in Grampa's care.  She hands
 Grampa the list of emergency numbers, then goes to the kids and
 hugs Bart (``Nga!''), Lisa (``Mmm...'') and Maggie (``suck, suck, suck'')
 farewell.  She pulls a slip of paper out of her hair.  ``Call this number
 if Grampa falls in the bathtub''.  (``I heard that!'')
   Bart:   Grampa, Mom was in such a hurry, she forgot to give you this.
           It's a list of the things Lisa and I can and can't do.
   Grampa: [reads] Eh heh.  Uh huh.  You're allowed to smoke cigars?
   -- Marge leaves the kids in Grampa's care, ``War of the Simpsons''
 On the drive to Catfish Lake, Homer stops at a gas station/bait store
 and learns about `General Sherman', the huge catfish that lives in the
 lake.  Homer announces that he will catch the General.  Meanwhile,
 Grampa drives the kids to the supermarket...
   Bart: After the supermarket, we'll go to the video store, grab a Krusty
         Burger, and head for the arcade.
   Lisa: Bart, Grampa's a kindly old man.  He trusts us.  Are you sure it's
         right to take advantage of him?
   Bart: Lis, in these crazy topsy-turvy times, who's to say what's right or
         wrong?  But right now, my gut's telling me, ``Bleed Gramps dry.''
   -- Grampa babysits the kids, ``War of the Simpsons''
 The Simpsons arrive at the retreat and find the Flanderses also in
   A marriage can't be reconciled in a few hours, Homer.
   It takes a whole weekend to do that!
   -- Rev. Lovejoy's marriage encounter retreat, ``War of the Simpsons''
   Rev.:  We must bait our hooks with honesty.  That way, a happy marriage,
          heh heh, won't be the one that got away.
   Homer: I see. [sotto voce] He also understands bowling expressions.
   -- Rev. Lovejoy welcomes Homer to his marriage encounter retreat,
      ``War of the Simpsons''
   Ah, three couples.  Our best turnout yet!
   -- Rev. Lovejoy opens the marriage counseling retreat, ``War of the Simpsons''
 He asks the first couple, John and Gloria, to describe their problems,
 and tells them to look into each others' eyes.  They forgive each other
 and leave to rekindle their relationship.  Next is Ned's turn.
   Ned:   Sometimes Maude (God bless her), she underlines passages in <my> Bible
          because she can't find hers.
   Homer: [mutters] Oh.  Lucky they don't keep guns in the house.
   -- At Rev. Lovejoy's marriage encounter retreat, ``War of the Simpsons''
 Now it's Homer's turn to list Marge's faults...
   Rev.:  Marge is going to tell us about your faults, why don't you tell
          us about hers?
   Homer: Oh, she's perfect.
   Rev.:  Come on, Homer, what are her faults?
   Homer: Well, sometimes it can be annoying.
   -- At Rev. Lovejoy's marriage encounter retreat, ``War of the Simpsons''
 Then it's Marge's turn...
   Marge: He chews with his mouth open, he gambles, he hangs out at a seedy
          bar with bums and lowlifes.
   Homer: [covers his face] Oh, it's all true!
   Rev.:  Homer, don't interrupt.
   Homer: Sorry.
   -- At Rev. Lovejoy's marriage encounter retreat, ``War of the Simpsons''
 Meanwhile, the kids go grocery shopping.
   Lisa: Half a gallon of chocolate.
   Bart: Check.
   Lisa: Half a gallon of chocolate brownie fudge.
   Bart: Check.
   Lisa: Half a gallon of chocolate chocolate chocolate chocolate chip.
   Bart: Yep.
   Grampa: Did your mom really write that shopping list?
   Lisa: Grampa, what a question!
   -- Shopping for groceries, ``War of the Simpsons''
 By 9:30pm, Marge has finished her list of Homer's faults.
 The kids watch a McBane movie, then are sent to bed.
   It's no use kidding myself.  I'm having an ethical crisis.
   -- Lisa is concerned about how she and Bart are taking advantage of Grampa,
      ``War of the Simpsons''
 Homer wakes up at 5am and plans `the perfect crime' to sneak out, catch
 General Sherman, and return before Marge wakes up.  He gets out of bed,
 already in his fishing clothes, but Marge wakes up.  She scolds him for
 thinking about fishing when their marriage is at stake and tells him
 to come back to bed.  Homer asks if he can take a walk, and Marge agrees.
 Outside, Homer sees a fisherman walking away from the pier.  He grabs
 the fishing rod and says, ``Hey kid, you forgot your...  Whoaaaa!'' as
 the fishing line is pulled away by General Sherman.

 [End of Act Two.  Time: 14:49]

 Homer has landed in a boat and is waiting for General Sherman to tire
 so he can reel him in.  Marge hears Homer's screams.  Back home...
   Grampa: [pours Lisa a cup of coffee] Sugar?
   Lisa:   Yes, ten please.
   Bart:   [shaking]  Hey Grampa, top me off.
   Grampa: Are you sure your Ma let you kids drink coffee?
   Bart:   [snaps] For the last time, yes!
   -- My breakfast with Grampa, ``War of the Simpsons''
 Homer continues to struggle with the fish, and Bart invites everyone to
 `Casa de Simpson' for a party.  ``The only adult is frail and old.''
 At the retreat...
   Helen: Now, this is a trust exercise.
          You fall backwards and rely on your spouse to catch you.
   Marge: Do I have to do this?
   Rev.:  No.  Even if your husband <were> here, I wouldn't recommend it.
   -- Marriage counseling retreat, ``War of the Simpsons''
   Marge, as a trained marriage counselor, this is the first instance where
   I've ever told one partner that they were 100% right.  It's all his fault.
   I'm willing to put that on a certificate you can frame.
   -- Rev. Lovejoy, ``War of the Simpsons''
 Grampa emerges from the shower to find Bart's party well under way.
 On the lake...
   Catching you will make me the most famous fisherman there is.
   Right up there with, the... uh... that bald guy on the cable fishing show.
   -- Homer plans to catch `General Sherman', ``War of the Simpsons''
   Holy mackerel!
   -- Homer lands a catfish, ``War of the Simpsons''
 At the party...
   Otto: Any chicks over eight?
   Bart: Not yet, but the afternoon is young.
   -- Bart throws a wild party, ``War of the Simpsons''
   Bart: Lisa, what's wrong?
   Lisa: Isn't it obvious?  We've degraded ourselves and set back the children's
         rights movement for decades to come.
   Bart: You're great at a party, Lis.  Really great.
   -- Lisa observes the wild party Bart is throwing, ``War of the Simpsons''
 Grampa tries to control the situation, with absolutely no success.
 Homer finally subdues General Sherman.  Bart wishes the partygoers
 farewell, and Grampa cries on the couch.
   Bart: Lisa, I have this strong unpleasant feeling I've never had before.
   Lisa: It's called remorse, you vile burlesque of irrepresible youth.
   -- Is it contagious? ``War of the Simpsons''
 To make it go away, ``You grab a bucket and a brush and you clean harder
 and faster than you've ever cleaned before.''  Homer celebrates victory,
 to find Marge waiting on the pier for him.  Marge says the fish represents
 how selfish he is, so Homer angrily tosses General Sherman back into the
   I gave up fame and breakfast for our marriage.
   -- Homer, after tossing `General Sherman' back into the lake,
      ``War of the Simpsons''
 The two are reconciled.  Bart and Lisa furiously clean up the house
 just in time for Homer and Marge's return.  Grampa explains that his
 secret is pretending to cry, and gloats, ``I can turn it on like
 a faucet.''
   I'll never trust another old person...
   -- Bart realizes Grampa duped him, ``War of the Simpsons''
 At the bait shop...
   Clerk: Yep, `General Sherman'.  They say he's five hundred pounds of
          bottom-dwelling fury, don't you know.  No one knows how old he is, but
          if you ask me (and most people do), he's hundred years if he's a day.
   Customer: And uh no one's ever caught him?
   Clerk: Well, one fella came close.  Went by the name of Homer.  Seven feet
          tall he was, with arms like tree trunks.  His eyes were like steel,
          cold, hard. Had a shock of hair, red like the fires of Hell.
   -- The making of a legend, ``War of the Simpsons''
 [End of Act Three.  Time: 20:28]
   Episode summaries Copyright 1991 by Raymond Chen.  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

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