Marge Gets a Job

Marge Gets a Job                      Written by Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein
                                                         Directed by Jeff Lynch

TV Guide Synopsis

When Marge goes to work at the power plant, Burns go bonkers for her
and tries to please her with a visit from singer Tom Jones.
Meanwhile, Bart becomes ``The Boy Who Cried Wolf''.  Other voices
include Julie Kavner, Harry Shearer, Dan Castellaneta.

Title sequence


    {I will not teach others to fly.}
    {I will not teach other} at cutoff.

Lisa's solo



        Homer yells, ``D'oh!'' when Lisa scoots past.
        Homer yells, ``Waugh!'' when the car closes in on him.


        The family members' heads are on the wrong bodies.

Quotes and scene summary


 Among the mail is a free sample of Lemon-Time, which Homer drinks,
 not seeming to mind that it's dishwashing liquid.  Marge notes that
 Springfield Nuclear Power Plant is throwing a retirement party.
 Lying on the couch, Homer dreams on his own retirement:  Lying on
 the couch.  Ned stops by the window to chat about the weather, but
 Homer tells him to buzz off.
   -- Ned Flanders, ``Marge Gets a Job''
 (Inside joke alert.)  Marge notes that Ned was standing slanted in
 the window, but Homer merely dismisses it as ``part of God's Great
 Plan.''  Maggie and her toys inexplicably slide across the floor,
 drawn towards a fan.  She crawls for dear life, inches away from the
 swirling blades.  Homer saves her.  Marge suspects one side of the
 house is sinking, and she's right.  Various objects fall off the roof.

 Homer watches a videotape titled ``The Half-Assed Approach to
 Foundation Repair''.  (The cover of the tape depicts half of a
   Hello, I'm Troy McClure.  You might remember me from such instructional
   videos as ``Mothballing Your Battleship'' and ``Dig Your Own Grave, And Save!''
   -- ``Marge Gets a Job''
   Now, over the next six hours, I'll be going over the Do's and Do-Not-Do's
   of foundation repair.
   -- Troy McClure's instructional video, ``Marge Gets a Job''
   Troy:    Now, do you hav extruded poly-vinyl foam insulation?
   Homer:   No.
   Troy:    Good.
   -- Homer improvement, ``Marge Gets a Job''
 But it looks so much easier on TV.

 Surly Joe's Foundation Repair pays a visit, and Surly Joe estimates
 that the repairs will cost $8500.  Homer is furious.  ``Forget it!
 You're not the <only> foundation guy in town!''  Homer consults the
 Yellow Pages.  ``Surly Joe's Fondation Repair: The <only> foundation
 repair company in town.''
   ... leaving the Vice President in charge.
   -- Kent Brockman's news report, ``Marge Gets a Job''
 On the lighter side of the news is the Leaning Casa de Simpson.  The
 house has become a tourist attraction.  As a Japanese family gets
 their picture taken by the house, Bart plays sideshow barker for the
 ``Slanty Shanty'', directing the tourists' attention to ``Cue-Ball,
 the man with no hair!''  The tourists gasp in horror.  (``He's
   Marge, it'll cost eighty-five hundred dollars!
   We only have five hundred in the bank, 
   and that leaves... eighty-hundred we need.
   -- Carry the ten, ``Marge Gets a Job''
 Marge suggests she could get a job, and Homer considers his dream of
 living in the woods, keeping a journal of his thoughts.
   March 15th.  I wish I brought a TV.  Oh God, how I miss TV!
   -- Homer's journal of life in the woods, ``Marge Gets a Job''
 The retirement party for Jack Marley is held at the ``Spruce
 Caboose''.  After a brief introduction by Mr. Burns, Smithers
 launches into a vaudeville-style tribute to... Mr. Burns.
   Marley: You mind if I say a few words?
   Burns:  Oh, me-me-me, ``I want all the attention because it's <my> party'', eh?
   -- Will the honored guest please shut up, ``Marge Gets a Job''
 Marley's speech begging for a stay of his retirement is met by two
 bodyguards, who toss him off the train.  Burns announces the opening
 of an entry-level position in sector 7-G, then sends everyone home.
 Marge suggests she apply for the job, but Homer will hear nothing of

 The weight of a bird on the chimney causes the house to sink
 further, tossing Bart out his bedroom window.  (He lands on his

 [End of Act One.  Time: 5:37]

 Marge composes her r\'esum'e.
    : Marge Simpson
    : Resume
    : Homemaker: 1980 to present
   -- It's my job, and I'll apply if I want to, ``Marge Gets a Job''
 Lisa remarks, ``I think it needs a little padding.''  Lisa gives
 Marge such illustrious titles as chauffeur, seamstress, and curator
 of large mammals.  (Homer asks, ``Marge, have you seen my
 lunchbox?''  It's on the table.)

 Smithers is dutifully impressed by Marge's r\'esum\'e and hires her.
   Smithers:  This r\'esum\'e is very impressive.  Let me be the first to say
              ``Abibu gazini''.
   Marge:     What?
   Smithers:  ``Welcome aboard''.  I guess my Swahili's not as good as yours.
   -- What's Swahili for ``Good idea, boss''?  ``Marge Gets a Job''
 Among the disappointed applicants is Jack Marley.

 Homer disapproves of the situation, but when he talks himself into a
 corner, he quickly picks up the newspaper.  ``Canada to hold
 referendum.''  Marge explains that they need the money, and besides,
 she needs to find something to do.
   Last week, some Jeohvah's Witnesses came to the door,
   and I wouldn't let them leave.  They snuck away when
   I went into the kitchen to get more lemonade.
   -- Marge, ``Marge Gets a Job''
   Lisa:  You'll be just like Marie and Pierre Curie.
   Homer: What'd they do?
   Lisa:  They discovered radium!  Then they both died of radiation poisoning.
   --  ``Marge Gets a Job''
 Bart imagines the Godzilla-sized Curies terrorizing downtown Tokyo.

 The Simpsons go to work.
   Now, Marge, just remember.  If something goes wrong at the plant,
   blame the guy who can't speak English.  Ah, Tibor, how many times have
   you saved my butt?
   -- Homer's rules for success in the workplace, ``Marge Gets a Job''
 Maggie leans against her crib, trying to reach her bottle of
 formula.  Despite all her effort to convey her point, Grampa can't
 figure out what she wants; he thinks she's ill.

 Smithers shows Marge to her office.  Tibor lost the keys, but he
 jimmies the lock with a credit card.
   Marge:	  What do I do?
   Smithers: Heh, heh, heh.  Marge, please!
   	  According to your r\'esum\'e you <invented> this machine.
   -- I can't believe I invented it!  ``Marge Gets a Job''
 Marge tentatively presses a button.  In the hallway is an explosion.
 Marge quickly pulls her hand back.

 To get out of taking an English test, Bart fakes a stomach-ache.
   Mrs. K: Bart, have you ever read ``The Boy Who Cried Wolf''?
   Bart:   I'm halfway through it, I swear!
   -- That's the one with Little Red Riding Hood and the three pigs, right?
      ``Marge Gets a Job''
 Homer drags Marge away from her paperwork for lunch.  He takes her
 form, puts it into a canister, and sends it through the pneumatic
 tube system.  The canister takes a wild ride through the tube
 system, eventually being deposited... outside, where a nearby beaver
 collects it and adds it to a dam built entirely of message canisters.

 At home, Bart suffers through Grampa's home remedies.
   Grampa: Good news, boy!  I found a pharmacy that carries leeches!
           Well it wasn't exactly a pharmacy... more of a bait shop.
   -- ``Marge Gets a Job''
   Oral thermometer, my eye!
   -- Grampa, ``Marge Gets a Job''
 Monty Burns surveys his troops and immediately succumbs to the
 quiet charms of Marge sitting at her console, carefully not pressing
 any buttons.
   Burns:  I must have her!  Smithers, zoom in.
           Closer!  Closer!  Closer, dammit!
   	[the camera hits Marge in the forehead]
   Marge:  Ow!
   Burns:  Too close.
   -- ``Marge Gets a Job''
 [End of Act Two.  Time: 10:45]

 Monty Burns pays a surprise visit to his favorite new employee,
 lavishing gifts upon her.  Marge wonders why morale is so low,
 indicating several very disturbed employees.
   I am the Angel of Death.  The Time of Purification is at hand.
   -- ``Marge Gets a Job''
 Marge suggests theme days, like ``Funny Hat Day'', and piping in Tom
 Jones music.

 The same employees are just as disturbed as ever.  The only
 difference is that they're wearing funny hats and listening to Tom
 Jones.  Burns continues by replacing the donuts with healthy snacks.
 A brief employee revolt is quickly quelled by a chain-wielding donut

 Burns gives Marge a raise and a new office: The one right next door,
 the office which used to be Smithers'.  Smithers is demoted to
 cleaning the urinals with a toothbrush.

 Bart has returned to school.
   Mrs. K:   Well, then, you're ready for your make-up test.
   Bart:     Ohhhhhh!  My ovaries.
   -- He's in more trouble than he thinks, ``Marge Gets a Job''
 Grampa takes Bart home.
   Grampa:   Have you ever read ``The Boy Who Cried Wolf''?
   Bart:     I glanced at it.
   	  Boy cries wolf, has a few laughs... I forget how it ends.
   -- Selective recall, ``Marge Gets a Job''
   Homer:	Ohhhhh...
   Marge:	What?
   Homer:	I'm used to seeing people promoted ahead of me.
   	Friends, co-workers, Tibor...
   	I never thought it'd be my own wife.
   Marge:	Well, maybe you'd get promoted if you worked a little harder.
   Homer:	Are you kidding?  I work like a Japanese beaver!
   Marge:	Oh, really?  I came to see you three times today.
   	Twice you were sleeping, and once you were kicking that ball of
   	electrical tape around!
   Homer:	Well!  I won't sleep in the same bed with a woman who thinks I'm lazy.
   	I'm going to go right downstairs, unfold the couch, unroll the
   	sleeping ba...  [gets into bed]  Eh, good-night.
   -- Know when to say when, ``Marge Gets a Job''
 Homer immediately falls asleep.  Marge is wide awake.

 Burns lies on the floor like a schoolboy, watching Marge on every
 monitor.  ``You know that dream when you're in bed and they fly
 through the window?''  Smithers knows exactly what he's talking
 about, except that in Smithers' dream, it's Mr. Burns who flies in.
   Burns:    I want you to arrange a party for two at my estate:
   	  Marge, me, and do you think you could dig up Al Jolson?
   Smithers: Ah, do you remember we did that once before?
   -- ``Marge Gets a Job''
 So Burns asks for Tom Jones.  Country-Western Day at the plant goes
 on without too much hubbub.  Surly Joe completes the repairs and
 tries to tell Homer that a simple fifty-cent washer would prevent
 the water leakage that caused the problem.  Homer tells him to
 scram.  In Vegas, Smithers first tries to bribe, then when that
 fails, successfully kidnaps Tom Jones.
   Bart, to avoid this test, you've had smallpox, the bends,
   and that unfortunate bout of Tourette's syndrome.
   -- Mrs. Krabappel, ``Marge Gets a Job''
 ``Mo more excuses.''

 ``Meanwhile, not far away...'' at KrustyLu studios, Krusty's guest
 is a Joan Embry wannabe, introducing Krusty to a giant clawed bird,
 then an Alaskan timberwolf.  She warns that the wolf is spooked by
 loud noises.  Krusty announces that `loud' is the word of the day,
 and much noisy celebration ensues.  The wolf breaks free of its
 chains and rushes out of the studio.  Meanwhile, Krusty is attacked
 by the bird.
   Joan:	She must think you're after her eggs.
   Krusty: I only ate one!
   -- ``Marge Gets a Job''
 The wolf crushes a Buzz Cola can as it walks past Eddie and Chief
 Wiggum, munching on donuts.  ``Nice doggy.''
   Ivanhoe is a story about a Russian farmer and his tool.
   -- Bart Simpson, ``Marge Gets a Job''
 The wolf stares Bart in the face.  Bart cries ``Wolf'', but Ms.
 Krabappel isn't listening.

 Burns applies a generous portion of Scalp Wax as Marge enters his
 office.  (The wax on his hands provides minor amusement.)  He
 invites Marge to dinner, dancing, and Tom Jones.  (Smithers holds a
 gun to Tom Jones' back to ensure his cooperation.)  When Burns
 learns that Marge is married, he imagines what her husband must look
 like.  Then fires Marge.  Marge promises to sue his pants off.

 The wolf maintains the upper paw, until Groundskeeper Willie steps
 into the fray.  A very tattered Bart returns to class.  Ms.
 Krabappel demands to know what happened out there.  After some
 thought, Bart admits that he faked the whole thing.  ``I'm just
 going to lie on the floor, now.  Please don't let me swallow my
 tongue.''  Ms. Krabappel prods Bart with a pointer.

 Grampa takes Bart home, while Groundskeeper Willie consoles the

 Burns mutilates Marge's image on his surveillance monitor as she
 collects her things from her desk.  Meanwhile, Marge enlists Lionel
 Hutz to aid her in a sexual harrassment suit.  Hutz bursts into
 Burns' office claiming to have witnesses, precedent, and evidence.
 Burns in turn shows Hutz his ten high-priced lawyers.  Hutz panics
 and runs out.  Upon closer inspection, Homer discovers that Hutz's
 briefcase was filled with shredded newspaper.  Homer demands an
   Burns:  I want you to show this woman the time of her life.
   Homer:	Gotcha.
   	Marge, we're getting some drive-thru, then we're doing it twice!
   -- ``Marge Gets a Job''
 Burns has something a little more special in mind:  A special
 performance by Tom Jones, who is shackled to the stage.  He begs
 Marge for assistance, but she and Homer merely enjoy the music.

 [End of Act Three.  Time: 20:46]

 Tom Jones sings ``It's Not Unusual'' over the credits.
 Gracie credit is unchanged.

Voice Credits


    Dan Castellaneta        (Homer, Jack Marley, Alternate universe Homer)
    Julie Kavner            (Marge)
    Nancy Cartwright        (Bart, Nelson, chorus girls, Joan Embry)
    Yeardley Smith          (Lisa)
    Hank Azaria             (The Angel of Death, Donut guy, Chief Wiggum)
    \:    and
    Harry Shearer           (Ned, Smithers, Burns, Brockman, Willie, etc.)

Special Guest Voice

    Phil Hartman    	    (Troy McClure, Lionel Hutz)

Special Guest Voice

    Tom Jones	    	    (himself)

Special Guest Voice

    Marcia Wallace          (Ms. Krabappel)

Didja notice...

    ... the Spruce Caboose restaurant is exactly in its crashed state?
    ... Homer's lunchbox is pink?  That free-thinking anarchist...
    ... the Japanese actor's voice in the Curie dream was dubbed?
    ... Homer put the canister into the tube <backwards>!
    ... Marge was busy dusting the console when Monty Burns came in?
	Once a housewife, always a housewife.
    ... Marge has only one business suit?  (But what a knockout it is!)


Alan J Rosenthal @{ajr}:  Overall evaluation: Fairly good.

J. D. Baldwin @{jdb}: I was lukewarm toward this one, but one thing
really stuck in my craw and relegated it to a permanent place in
``J.D.'s Bottom Ten'': the lame-o ending.

The only realistic (i.e., consistent with the Simpsons world-view) way
out of this one would be to have Homer saved from Burns' wrath by some
incredibly lucky twist of fate.  But to have Burns suddenly roll over
and make nice was really a deus ex machina.  The writers should be
ashamed of themselves.  [Hey, watch it, pal.  One of the writers has
net access... --rjc]

Movie (and other) References

    + Citizen Kane
        - Smithers' song-and-dance number.
	  Complete with Wellesian camera angles.
    . The Empire Strikes Back
        - Music from the movie plays as Burns surveys his monitors.
    + Stolen Kisses
	- The pneumatic tube.  (See below.)

Freeze Frame Fun

Stores in Springfield Mall

    . Yogurt Nook
    . I Can't Believe It's a Law Firm
    . Gum for Less

Animation and continuity goofs

The width of Marge's floppy tie changes.

After Burns drew a goatee and horns on Marge, there was a change of scene,
followed by Burns drawing flies around her; the goatee and horns are gone.
No doubt he shifted his attention to a different monitor.

The establishing shot of SNPP when Hutz comes in is missing the
characteristic crow call.

That the Curies died of radiation poisoning is a common misconception.
(Pierre died as a result of a traffic accident, if you consider having
your head struck by a wagon wheel a traffic accident.)  Bill Oakley
admits that the error was not caught by the normally comprehensive
fact-checking team until it was too late to do anything about it.

Comments and other observations

Changes between original airing and syndication

The mention of ``Tourette's Syndrome'' has been changed to ``rabies''.
Story Editor Bill Oakley explains:
    Though it rarely happens, the producers received several very strong
    complaints from Tourette's-afflicted children around the country and
    decided that the line might have been too insensitive.

    The change was made in consultation with the writers and staff.
Though if you listen carefully, you can hear Bart mutter ``Tourette's
Syndrome'' near the end of his diatribe.

Ohg vs gur Gbherggr ybool pnyyrq gb pbzcynva, ubj pbhyq lbh gryy vs
gurl jrer ernyyl znq?

Note that Bart had promised in [8[FG]07] no longer to fake rabies.

References obvious and obscure

Previous episodes

[8[FG]09] During Marge's interview with Smithers, the photo of Burns with
       Elvis can be seen.

The Spruce Caboose

Compare Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose, a plane built entirely of wood.

Canada to Hold Referendum

The referendum had actually past (but not passed) a few weeks before
the episode aired.  For Americans whose knowledge of international
affairs end at going out for pizza, here's a quick summary: Put to a
national vote was a new Canadian constitution.  It failed miserably.
(It seemed that only the Newfies voted for it.)

It's not as easy as you think.  Imagine trying to pass a constitution
in the United States.  Special interests would tear it apart.

Stolen Kisses

William McAdams @{wm2} identifies the pneumatic tube scene as coming
from Fran\c{c}ois Truffaut's ``Stolen Kisses'' (France 1968).  Even
the music is the same.  In the movie, Antoine mails a love letter
through a pneumatic tube, and we follow it as it travels under the
streets of Paris.

KrustyLu Studios

A reference to DesiLu studios, the studio which produced ``I Love
Lucy'', named for Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball.

The Secret Word

Grouch Marx's ``You Bet Your Life'' probably did the most to promote
the concept of the ``secret word''.

Tourette's Syndrome

All that most people know (or think they know) about Tourette's
Syndrome is that people who have it burst into uncontrollable bouts of
swearing.  Corby Page @{cep}, who actually has Tourette's explains:
``It is not a mental illness.  It's a nervous disorder, and the way it
manifests itself varies from person to person.  For example, you can
probably catch me twitching, blinking, or making little grunting
noises every once in a while, but I've never had a problem with


The Simpsons' house faces south.

Distribution notice and Acknowledgments

Blah blah.  

HTML conversion by
Howard Jones( on Sat 10 Sept 1994