Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others
Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others
Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier
Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others
Maude Flanders, Helen Lovejoy, Miss Hoover, and others
Flanders' references the Bible verse Matthew 19:19, "Love thy neighbor."
When Homer misses a putt, he hops and waves his arms in the same fashion as the mechanical ape he confronts on the miniature golf course.
At the Great Sphinx hole a sign reads "One of the seven wonders of the world."
The library has the following books on Golf: Anecdotes, Eisenhower and, Humor, Japanese Obsession With and Putting.
The following trophies and awards are visible in Bart's trophy case: 6th Place, Runner up, 4th Place, Honorable Mention, Participant, Everybody gets a trophy day.
Prizes for the Mini Golf Tournament: 1st Place $50, 2nd Place $10, 3rd Place $5, 4th Place 1/2 Price Sno-Cone. Everybody who enters gets a Free Balloon as well.
The sign at the end of the course reads "Ye end of course" and the tournament is named Ye Olde First Annual Miniature Golf Tournament.
In addition to Mini Golf at the Merrie Olde Fun Centre there are: Ye Go Carts, Her Majesty's Batting Cage, Merlin's Video Dungeon and Skee Ball.
On the wall in Flanders' rumpus room we see a poster of a cat hanging on to a clothesline. This is very similar to the one Marge has in "The Twisted World of Marge Simpson." The only difference is this one says "Hang on" while the one in "Twisted World" says "Hang in there baby!"
There are eight entrants in the golf tournament and the results of the single elimination tournament went like this: First Round: Simpson def. Monroe, Wiggum def. Prince, Flanders def. Melon, and Long def. Gammil. Second Round: Simpson def. Wiggum, and Flanders def. Long. Championship Round Simpson and Flanders tie.
Ned's speed dial on his phone contains the following: Reverend (Work), Reverend (Home), Recycling Center, and Book Mobile.
On the miniature golf tournament board, the name Gammil can be seen as one of the entrants to the tournament. Gammil is also the same last name as one of the families Mr. Burns greets at employee appreciation night at Springfield Stadium in episode 2-5, "Dancin' Homer."
One of Ned's beer mugs is decorated with the words, "Macho Mug."
The top of Ned's note pad reads, "From the Noggin of Ned."
Goof: During the miniature golf tournament, the hole featuring Abraham Lincoln contains 3 golf ball size tunnels in some shots, and in other shots only one tunnel can be seen.
The fact that Ned is left-handed isn't confirmed until episode 3-3, "When Flanders Failed." In this episode Ned uses his right hand to write his apologetic note to Homer.
This episode begins the inconsistencies with Ned Flanders and his drinking habits. In some episodes he is a beer drinker with his own beer on tap, while in others he claims to abhor liquor, even saying that the only time he ever drank was when he had tried blackberry schnapps, which made him "more animal than man."
The positions of Bart's and Todd's balls change on the last hole.
(Ned's letter to the Simpsons) Ned: Dear Neighbor, you are my brother. I love you, and yet I feel a great sadness in my bosom. Neighbor's forever, Ned Flanders
(Announcer in British accent, commenting on the last hole between Bart and Todd)
Announcer: If one were to look up "courage" in the Oxford English Dictionary, one might very well come upon the photo of these two gladiators. They approach the final hole in the shadow of the great emancipator, deadlocked at eight strokes on the happy side of par. Soon, one man will emerge triumphant. He will drink naught but champagne, while his opponent tastes bitter defeat in this oft cruel game.
(Announcer on P.A. system in British accent)
Announcer: Good afternoon, everybody, and welcome to the finale of what has already been a stirring afternoon of miniature golf. The cream has risen, the wheat has bid farewell to the chaff, and now we approach the championship match with but two warriors remaining: the heretofore unknown Bart Simpson and Todd Flanders: one of the most skilled ten-year-olds to ever take back the blade.
(Lisa preps Bart before the golf tournament)
Lisa: Eighth hole.
Bart: Aim for the octopus' third tentacle.
Lisa: Twelfth hole.
Bart: Bank it off the pink tombstone.
Bart: State of bliss attained through the extinction of the self.
(Lisa tries to teach Bart a method to clear his mind of distraction.)
Lisa: Bart, I have a riddle for you. What's the sound of one hand clapping?
Bart: Piece of cake.
(Bart opens and closes his right fist quickly, making a sound.)
Lisa: No, Bart. It's a 3000-year-old riddle with no answer. It's supposed to clear your mind of conscious thought.
Bart: No answer? Lisa, listen up.
(Bart quickly opens and closes his fist again.)
Marge: Homer, I couldn't help overhearing you warp Bart's mind.
Marge: I'm worried that you're making to big a deal of this silly little kiddie golf tournament.
Homer: But, Marge, this is our big chance to show up the Flandereses.
Marge: I'm sure it is, but why do we want to do that?
Homer: Because sometimes the only way you can feel good about yourself is by making someone else look bad. And I'm tired of making other people feel good about themselves.
Lisa: Bart, having never received any words of encouragement myself, I'm not sure how they're supposed to sound, but here goes. I believe in you.
Homer: What does everyone say to some miniature golf, followed by a round of frosty chocolate milkshakes!
Bart: All right!
Marge: Mmm, I was going to wash my hair.
Lisa: And I'm studying for the math fair. If I win, I'll bring home a brand-new protractor.
Homer: Too bad we don't live on a farm.
(Before the championship miniature golf match, the Flanders family pray together.)
Homer: Hey, Flanders, it's no use praying. I already did the same thing, and we can't both win.
Ned: Actually, Simpson, we were praying that no one gets hurt!
Homer: Oh, well, Flanders, it doesn't matter. This time tomorrow you'll be wearing high heels.
Ned: Nope. You will.
Homer: 'Fraid not.
Ned: 'Fraid so.
Homer: 'Fraid not!
Ned: 'Fraid so!
Homer: 'Fraid not, infinity!
Ned: 'Fraid so, infinity plus one!
(Homer puts some pressure on Bart to win the Miniature golf tournament.)
Homer: Look, son, all I'm asking is that you'll try.
Bart: Okay, I'll try.
Homer: D'oh! Anybody can try! I want you to win!
(Lisa tries to mentally prepare Bart for the miniature golf tournament with some meditation.)
Lisa: I want you to shut off the logical part of your mind.
Lisa: Embrace nothingness.
Bart: You got it.
Lisa: Become like an uncarved stone.
Lisa: Bart! You're just pretending to know what I'm talking about!
Lisa: Well, it's very frustrating!
Bart: I'll bet.
(Bart and Homer finish a round of miniature golf.)
Bart: Final score: Bart, 41. Homer--Let's see. Six plus six plus six plus six plus six plus--
Homer: Never mind!
(Using the phone, Ned Flanders seeks some counsel in the middle of the night.)
Ned: Hello, Reverend Lovejoy?
Helen Lovejoy: (Yawns) No. This is Mrs. Lovejoy. (Sighs) Just a minute. (Covers the phone) Honey. Honey, wake up. It sounds like Ned Flanders is having some sort of crisis.
Reverend Lovejoy: (Groans) Probably stepped on a worm.
(After getting into an argument with Ned Flanders earlier in the day, Homer can't sleep.)
Marge: Homey, quit tossing.
Homer: Sorry, Marge. But, it's just that I'm still steamed up about that jerk Flanders. Lousy bragging know-it-all show-off.
Marge: What exactly did he say?
Homer: Get this. He said--Now--He said--Well, it wasn't so much what he said, it was how he said it.
Marge: Well, how did he say it?
Homer: Well, he--
Marge: Was he angry?
Marge: Was he rude?
Homer: Okay, okay, it wasn't how he said it either. But the message was loud and clear: Our family stinks!
(After hanging out in Ned Flanders' basement and seeing his "perfect" family get along well together, Homer blows up in anger.)
Homer: All right, knock it off!
Ned: Knock what off, Simpson?
Homer: You've been rubbing my nose in it since I got here! Your family is better than my family! Your beer comes from farther away than my beer! You and your son like each other! Your wife's butt is higher than my wife's butt! You make me sick!
Ned: Simpson, I'm afraid I'm gonna have to ask you to leave! I hope you understand.
Homer: I wouldn't stay on a bet!
(Homer has one last gulp of beer and grabs a sandwich.)
Homer: One for the road.
(Ned Flanders shows Homer his "rumpus room.")
Homer: (Gasps) Holy moly! It's beautiful.
Ned: (Chuckles) Say, that's right. This your first visit to the Flanders homestead, huh?
Homer: Well, we've only been neighbors, what--(Mumbles and counts on fingers.)--eight years.
(Ned visits with Homer, while Homer mows his lawn.)
Ned: Uh, Sa--Say, Simpson, uh, I--I've got some, uh, time release granules that'll get rid of that crabgrass in just a half a jif.
Homer: Crabgrass? What are you talking about? Where?
Ned: Well, uh, (Starts pointing in various spots.) ooh, there, there, and, uh, there's a big patch over there.
Homer: There's nothing wrong with crabgrass. It just has a bad name, that's all. Everyone would love it if it had a cute name, like, uh, elf grass.
(After some miniature golf practice Bart enters his bedroom and throws his putter on the floor.)
Homer: (Yelling) What are you doing?
(Homer picks up the putter.)
Homer: That putter is to you what a bat is to a baseball player, what a violin is...to the--the guy that--the violin guy! Now, come on! Give your putter a name.
(Homer hands the putter back to Bart.)
Homer: Come on. Give it a name.
Bart: Mr. Putter.
Homer: D'oh! You wanna try a little harder, son? Come on. Give it a girl's name.
Homer: Your putter's name is Charlene!
Homer: It just is, that's why!
(Homer pins up a picture of Todd Flanders.)
Homer Now, this is a picture of your enemy, Todd Flanders. Every day, I want you to spend 15 minutes staring at it and concentrating on how much you hate him and how glorious it will be when you and Charlene annihilate him!
Bart: Who's Charlene?
(Homer snatches Bart's putter out of his hands.)
Homer: I'll show you who Charlene is! Now start hating!
(Lisa watches as Homer mows Ned Flanders' lawn in one of Marge's dresses.)
Lisa: Why do I get the feeling that someday I'll be describing this to a psychiatrist?
Homer: (Yelling) Marge, where's the Duff?
Marge: Oh, uh, we're all out, Homer.
Marge: Would you like some fruit juice?
Homer: (Makes fist) Don't toy with me, woman.
(At the miniature golf tournament, Homer gives some encouragement to Bart.)
Homer: Come on, Bart. Remember what Vince Lombardi said: "If you lose, you're out of the family!"
This is the first episode that really explores Homer's rivalry with Ned.
First Appearance: Maude Flanders
Blackboard Joke: I am not a 32 year old woman.
Couch Gag: The family runs in and squeezes in on the couch, but this time Santa's Little Helper and Snowball II join in as well.
The Karate Kid
When Bart is training, at one point he stands crane-style on a tree stump, just like Ralph Macchio did in the 1984 film The Karate Kid.
Dead Poets Society
The title of this episode is a reference to the 1989 Robin Williams film Dead Poets Society.
Ned: Mercy is for the weak, Rod!
This line from Flanders, and the crane pose Bart makes on the garbage can, are both references to the 1984 film The Karate Kid.
Bart: One O'Clock. Still just a potato.
If you look at Bart's notepad, potato is spelled. "potatoe." A quick and funny reference to one of the biggest political jokes ever, when then Vice President Dan Quail misspelled the word in a children's spelling bee.
Fanfare For The Common Man
The scene where the groundskeepers are setting up for the miniature golf tournament is taken from the film Fanfare for the Common Man.
Homer: That shot is impossible. Jack Nicholson himself couldn't make it.
Quick references to Jack Nicklaus the famous golfer who Homer thinks he's talking about, and Jack Nicholson the actor who he ends up saying.
Homer: Your putter's name is Charlene
This is a reference to the 1987 film Full Metal Jacket in which the drill sergeant, Hartman, tells his men to give their guns names. Private Pyle, who later goes crazy, names his Charlene.
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