Season 1, Episode 4
Original Air Date: January 28, 1990
Chalkboard gag: I will not burp in class.
Couch gag: the couch falls apart.
Plot: After an embarrassing trip to Mr. Burns’ manor, Homer resolves to improve his famly.
• With Homer, Bart and Lisa’s characters established, Marge is featured more in this episode, in one of the rare instances where Homer disapproves of her (getting drunk) and not the other way around. This switching of character traits was actually because it’s one of the first produced (which is why Lisa’s bratty and similar to Bart)
• Smithers is now pale (even more pale than the Simpsons). The wrong colour was kayfabe explained as an “extreme tan”!
• Another episode where Homer covets other family’s position (like Flanders at Christmas time). It’s odd that Marge is accepting of the family’s status, it’s Homer that’s the driving force behind ‘bettering’ his family.
• Homer saying grace turns into just giving out about his family. It’s quite funny!
• With something as long running as the Simpsons, it’s great to see them only deal with themselves, as opposed to having a wacky adventure.
• Marge offers to pawn her engagement ring – she’s not wearing a wedding ring?
• We get our first taste of Itchy and Scratchy.
• The Simpsons family comes out a closer unit despite things not going according to plan
Homer saying grace “Dear Lord, thank you for this microwave bounty, even though we don’t deserve it. I mean, our kids are uncontrollable hellions! Pardon my French. They act like savages! Did you see them at the picnic? Of course you did, you’re omnivorous. Oh Lord! Why did you smite me with this family?!”
The family (peeping into another family’s house) “Look at that – No fighting! No belching! The dad has a shirt on! Napkins!”
Homer (at Moe’s bar) “My mom once said something that really stuck with me. She said “Homer, you’re a big disappointment”. God bless her soul, she was really onto something.”
Lisa “You’re sending us a psychiatrist who advertises on *Pro-Wrestling*?”
Homer “Boxing, Lisa, boxing. There’s a world of difference.”
Overall: Homer is great in this episode, and still feels like a father (rather than just a buffoon) with aspirations for his family. Good stuff.