The Simpsons

Season 2 Episode 18

Brush with Greatness

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Apr 11, 1991 on FOX

Episode Recap

Opening Credits: Blackboard joke: I will not hide behind The Fifth Amendment. Couch gag: As the family sits down on the couch, Homer's weight tips the couch up on end and sends Maggie flying into the air, where she lands on a couch cushion.

Act One: Bart and Lisa watch the Krusty the Clown show, being broadcast from a water park called Mt. Splashmore. As the show comes to a close, Krusty tells his viewers that they should come out and visit the water park this weekend. Bart and Lisa become infatuated with the water park and incessantly bother Homer to take them to Mt. Splashmore. After being bothered day and night, Homer finally caves and agrees to take the kids to the water park.

The next day, Marge and the kids wait in the car ready to go, while Homer is still upstairs trying to squeeze into his bathing suit. He finally gets the bathing suit on and struggles into the driver's seat of the car, with his large belly pressed against the steering wheel. At Mt. Splashmore, Homer begins to remind everyone to stick together, but before he can finish his sentence, everyone has disappeared on him. Bart and Lisa roam the water park together and come across a large water slide called H2Whoa!. When Bart sees the long line for the slide he tells Lisa, "Put on the water works." Bart quickly ushers Lisa to the front of the line, as she acts as if she is crying for her mother. Meanwhile, Marge supervises Maggie in the children's pool area. Homer, who is alone, and eating a corn dog, also spots H2Whoa!, and when he sees the long line, he quickly pushes his way to the front, while claming to be a "line inspector." Up at the entrance to the slide, Bart and Lisa jump in and enjoy a fun ride down, Homer does the same, but about halfway down the tube he becomes stuck. The water ride has to be shut down and a large crowd boos as the section of the tube with Homer stuck in it is removed, so he can be set free.

Back at home as the family watches TV, Homer's incident at Mt. Splashmore is all over the news. Homer shuts off the TV and sheepishly asks the family for their honest opinion about his weight. Everyone is reluctant to answer and Homer painfully realizes that he is in fact overweight. He heads into the bathroom to weigh himself and when he sees that he weighs 260 pounds, he dramatically vows to lose weight. As he shakes his fist in the air, Homer proclaims, "As God is my witness, I'll always be hungry again!"

Act Two: Up in the attic, Bart helps Homer look for his old exercise equipment, and during the search, Bart discovers some old paintings of Ringo Starr. Upon closer inspection, Homer sees that the signatures at the bottom of each painting are Marge's. Homer becomes a little jealous at her infatuation with Ringo Starr, and Marge explains that she did all the paintings back in high school, when she had a crush on Ringo. Back downstairs, everyone but Homer enjoys pork chops for dinner, while he is forced to eat steamed vegetables and rice cakes. Meanwhile, Lisa is impressed with Marge's paintings and inquires as to why she stopped painting. Marge explains that her art teacher in high school didn't approve of the paintings, more or less calling them garbage. So, she mailed one of her paintings to the only person whose opinion she actually cared about: Ringo Starr. When she never received a response from Ringo, she never painted again. Upon hearing Marge's story, Lisa encourages her to sign up for an art class at Springfield Community College.

Later at the college, Lisa accompanies Marge and aides her in signing up for "Painting From Life 2B." However, the man working the registration desk informs Marge, that before she can enroll in that class, she must have her portfolio approved by art teacher, Professor Lombardo. Marge worries about someone else judging her paintings, and tries to back out of signing up for the class. But Lisa tells Marge not to worry and drags her over to Professor Lombardo's table. He flips through Marge's portfolio, and is clearly impressed; he grants Marge permission to join the class. Meanwhile back at home, Homer is dressed in a sweat suit, wearing heavy hands and ankle weights, and is struggling to get up off the couch. Bart walks in and when Homer tells Bart that he can't move Bart takes advantage of the situation by stealing some money out of Homer's wallet. A montage ensues, showing Marge's progress in her art class, and Homer's progress with his exercise routine.

In art class, Professor Lombardo walks around the room praising everyone's paintings, especially Marge's; Her painting depicts Homer, slumping on the couch in his underwear, sleeping and holding a beer can in his hand. Professor Lombardo pulls Marge out into the hallway and asks if he can submit her painting in the upcoming Springfield Art Exhibition. Marge is flattered at the idea and agrees to let him submit her painting. The next week at the Art Exhibition, a crowd including the Simpsons gathers, as submitted art from various places around Springfield are judged. Marge's painting takes 1st prize, and Marge can't believe it. A celebratory Homer declares himself a work of art saying, "Last Supper, eat your heart out." Meanwhile at the nuclear power plant, Mr. Burns stands in his office staring at a self portrait of himself. Mr. Burns is clearly unpleased with the newly finished portrait and orders Smithers to throw it away along with all the others. Smithers reminds Mr. Burns that Dedication of the Burns Wing at the museum is only days away, and that he can't keep firing the artists that are trying to paint his portrait for the Dedication. Mr. Burns orders Smithers to find him another artist, and when Smithers reads the newspaper and sees that Marge Simpson has taken 1st prize in an art exhibition, he suggests that they commission her to do the painting. Mr. Burns accepts the idea after Smithers cites that Marge should be easily intimidated into painting a favorable portrait, because she is the wife of an employee.

Act Three: At home, Homer steps on the bathroom scale and is shocked to see he has lost 11 pounds and is now down to 249. He excitedly runs downstairs to proclaim his weight loss to the rest of the family, who are eating breakfast. A quick cut to the power plant shows the doughnuts piling up in the break room. Meanwhile back at the Simpson home, with Smithers at the wheel, Mr. Burns pulls up in his car. Marge answers the door and invites the two inside. In the kitchen as Marge pours them some coffee, Smithers explains that they want to commission her to paint Mr. Burns' portrait for the Dedication of the Burns Wing at the museum. After explaining that she has the ability to bring out the inner beauty in anyone, Mr. Burns hires her. That afternoon, Marge gets her first glimpse of what Mr. Burns is really like, as he orders Smithers around while he poses for the portrait, and as he yells at her to begin the painting. When Homer comes home from work, he is shocked to see Mr. Burns in his living room and he pulls Marge aside in the kitchen, to ask what is going on. Marge explains the situation and Homer, begs her to make sure she paints a good portrait of Mr. Burns. Marge reassures him that she will find Mr. Burns' inner beauty and bring it out in the portrait.

Over the next few days Marge witnesses more of Mr. Burns' unpleasant behavior: As Mr. Burns poses for the portrait, Maggie clutches his leg and he angrily shakes her off of him; Smithers steals the Sunday comics from Homer, so he can read them to Mr. Burns as he poses; while doing laundry, Marge accidentally walks in on a naked Mr. Burns, who is changing for a board meeting; and after Smithers prepares Mr. Burns some tea, he dumps the scalding tea on Smithers because it is too hot. Meanwhile somewhere over in England, a devoted Ringo Starr, is busy in his den, answering old fan mail from years ago. Ringo tells his butler that no matter what, he wants to answer every piece of fan mail he has ever received. In the process, he stumbles across Marge's painting and is clearly impressed with it.

Back in Springfield, Mr. Burns continues to show his ugly side, when he yells at Lisa for practicing her saxophone, in the living room as he poses. Upstairs in the bathroom, Homer dramatically steps on the scale and is overjoyed to discover that his weight is now down to 239 pounds. A proud Homer runs downstairs to proclaim the good news to Marge, and upon hearing about Homer's weight loss, Mr. Burns scoffs at Homer saying, "My good man, you're the fattest thing I've ever seen. And I've been on safari." This sends Homer into a depression, and he runs to the refrigerator to drown his sorrows with some food. Marge angrily tells Mr. Burns that she doesn't need him pose anymore and that she can finish the portrait without him. Mr. Burns and Smithers quickly leave and are happy to do so. Marge walks into the kitchen just in time to stop Homer from devouring a spray can of whip cream. She tells Homer that she's not sure that she can find Mr. Burns' inner beauty; and confesses that she feels like she is not an artist. Just then Homer spots a piece of mail on the kitchen table that is from England. Marge opens the letter to find that it is her long awaited reply from Ringo Starr. After reading that he loved her painting and hung it on his wall, she becomes inspired to finish Mr. Burns' portrait.

Marge stays up all night and after several failed attempts at the portrait she suddenly gets an idea and furiously begins painting on a new canvass. The next day at the Dedication of the Burns Wing in the museum, a crowd gathers as Mr. Burns stands at a podium about to unveil the painting for the first time. After Mr. Burns pulls down the drape, everyone is shocked, and Mr. Burns is upset, to see a portrait of himself in the nude. Marge quickly rushes up to the podium and explains her motivation behind painting Mr. Burns in the nude. She explains that she thought she would show that beneath all of Mr. Burns' power, influence and bad traits, is a frail and withered old man, who is just as vulnerable as anyone else. After hearing the reasoning behind it, the crowd suddenly loves Marge's painting, and after Mr. Burns sees that everyone else likes the painting, he decides that he likes it as well. He approaches Marge and tells her that he doesn't hate the painting, and he thanks her for not making fun of his genitalia. As he walks away, Marge remarks to Homer, "I thought I did."

End Credits: The normal Simpsons theme plays as the credits roll over a black background.

Run time: 22:56