The Simpsons

Season 15 Episode 10

Diatribe of a Mad Housewife

1
Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Jan 25, 2004 on FOX
8.4
out of 10
User Rating
108 votes
6

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Diatribe of a Mad Housewife
AIRED:
Homer compromises the power plant's security system and as a result gets fired. Marge and the kids go to a bookstore and while there she sits in a on a book reading and then asks the author if anyone can write a book. The answer gives Marge an idea. Meanwhile, Homer has gotten a job as a car salesman; but there is an ambulance on the lot that seduces Homer into quitting that job and becoming an ambulance driver. Marge wants to start writing her novel and Homer agrees to watch the kids, while putting in his night shift as an ambulance driver. Marge completes her novel and lets Lisa read it. Seeing one of the characters is hard on her father, Lisa suggests that Marge let Homer read the novel. Homer makes an attempt, fails and tells her that he did. Marge gets her novel published and the kids worry that if Homer ever reads it or sees it as a MADtv sketch, he will be heartbroken. Marge's novel comes out and everyone in Springfield is talking about it. Homer gets the book on tape version, as read by the Olsen twins, and finds out what everyone is talking about. Mad Homer chases after Flanders to do something he should have taken care of a long time ago.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Marge,The Novelist :)

    9.5
    I loved the idea of the housewife depression that made her fantasy is a "passion" novel,

    was so funny episode and very well written
  • Homer becomes an ambulence driver; Marge writes a novel.

    9.5
    Homer has a car accident and is fired from the power plant, prompting him to get a job as a car salesman, which he resigns from after purchasing an old ambulance. Marge takes the kids to a book store where she listens to an author and is convinced she should write a novel. Her book involves a lonely housewife stuck in a deadend marriage with a brute husband, who is one day wowed by a visitor to the island. The inspiration behind her characters comes from Homer and Ned Flanders. Lisa reads her copy and notices the similarities immediately. Marge gets Homer to read it before sending it to be published, but he falls asleep and tells her he read it anyway. The book is published and the town begin to talk about Homer and Marge's marriage behind their backs. Homer notices and eventually purchases a copy of the book on tape. Rather than get angry with Ned he consults him for tips on how to become a better husband. Both stories in this episode were solid and funny. The ending was expected but need. It was good to see Homer care about his Marriage once again. Give this episode a watch because it is well put together and funny.moreless
  • Marge writes a book in which Flanders is the one she loves not Homer. Are Homer and Marge's marriage in jeporady once again?????

    9.6
    Homer has a car accident and is fired from the power plant, prompting him to get a job as a car salesman, which he resigns from after purchasing an old ambulance. Marge takes the kids to a book store where she listens to an author and is convinced she should write a novel. Her book involves a lonely housewife stuck in a deadend marriage with a brute husband, who is one day wowed by a visitor to the island. The inspiration behind her characters comes from Homer and Ned Flanders. Lisa reads her copy and notices the similarities immediately. Marge gets Homer to read it before sending it to be published, but he falls asleep and tells her he read it anyway. The book is published and the town begin to talk about Homer and Marge's marriage behind their backs. Homer notices and eventually purchases a copy of the book on tape. Rather than get angry with Ned he consults him for tips on how to become a better husband.moreless
  • Marge Simpson becomes frustrated with her life as a housewife to an unappreciative (to say the least) family. She writes a novel in which Flanders is the Knight in Shining Armour and Homer is the local deadbeat.moreless

    9.5
    No matter how many times I watch it, this episode makes me scream with laughter. It is wonderfully clever, (of course, which Simpsons episode isn't?) but it also portrays the humanity in Marge and Homer's marriage. Each scene has a different classic quote, such as Homer's quote "I wasn't lying, I was telling fiction with my mouth!"



    I enjoy the random celebrity guest appearances, they are a part of what makes the show kooky and special. Also, you can't get enough of Homer's tireless antics, such as quitting his job (again) and becoming an ambulance driver. This episode should make everyone a fan of the show, it is funny, heartwarming, and filled with one-liners that will make you want to buy the show and watch it over and over (like I did!)moreless
  • The best of season 15 up to this point.

    8.7
    This episode was really good. A well thought out plot, some great lines, and Homer not being a total jerk (towards the end, at least). The episode took a little too long to get going, but then Marge deciding to start writing a novel seemed pretty abrupt. More time should have been spent on introducing this idea (from the beginning of the episode). But still, the episode got better and better as it progressed and ended extremely well.



    There were a couple of things I disliked. The first was that there were too many guest stars who didn't do anything, really (Tom Clancy, Olsen twins). Secondly, Homer's eyes darting about all over the place (and later Bart's) was totally wrong and broke one of Matt Groening's core rules for the show (that character's eyes don't go in different directions). It's happened before (The Sweetest Apu), but I didn't expect it to happen again. The last thing was the appearance of Dr. Marvin Monroe who was supposed to be dead. Well, I'm not against his appearance, it just seemed unnecessary and he didn't do anything for the episode at all.

    moreless
Julie Kavner

Julie Kavner

Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier

Harry Shearer

Harry Shearer

Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others

Dan Castellaneta

Dan Castellaneta

Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others

Nancy Cartwright

Nancy Cartwright

Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others

Yeardley Smith

Yeardley Smith

Lisa Simpson

Hank Azaria

Hank Azaria

Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others

Thomas Pynchon

Thomas Pynchon

Himself

Guest Star

Mary-Kate Olsen

Mary-Kate Olsen

Herself

Guest Star

Ashley Olsen

Ashley Olsen

Herself

Guest Star

Tress MacNeille

Tress MacNeille

Agnes Skinner, Brandine Del Roy, Dolph and others

Recurring Role

Pamela Hayden

Pamela Hayden

Milhouse Van Houten, Rod Flanders, Jimbo Jones, and others

Recurring Role

Maggie Roswell

Maggie Roswell

Maude Flanders, Helen Lovejoy, Miss Hoover, and others

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Menu choices at the Krusty Burger Drive thru:

      Mutton Buttons - $3.79
      Snout Snips - $2.99
      Gravy Scrape'ems - $2.99
      Buffalo Things - $2.95
      Fiesta Globs - $3.99
      Triple Double Burger - $5.99
      Hot Lettuce Injection (A Healthy Heart Selection) - $3.79
      Twisty Lard - $2.49
      Chicken Lungs (Spicy or Mild) - $4.49
      All of the Above - $39.95

      Homer orders the 16 Gravy Scrape'ems, a bucket of Twisty Lard, and 2 Super Choker Breakfast burritos with Macho sauce. He gets a diet coke (deep-fried) and the bag is also deep-fried.

  • QUOTES (28)

    • Lisa: (Reading Marge's book) "Captain Mordecai stared at the window full of powdered blow hole. 'Mmm, blow hole,' he drooled." Sounds like Dad to me.

    • Marge: When you write, you can let your imagination run wild. (writing) Temperance was doing the laundry . . .

    • (couple talking about Homer after taking a test drive with him)
      Man: Well honey, what do you think?
      Woman: Did that salesman 'cut one' during the test drive?
      Man: Yeah, and for some reason he turned on the radio to cover up the smell.
      Woman: Let's get out of here! I'm not shaking that guys hand.

    • (examining the ambulance)
      Bart: Hey, I think it's cool. I can defibrillate Lisa!
      Lisa: Not if I pump your heart full of morphine first!

    • Bart: Dad, you've been driving in circles for 20 minutes.
      Lisa: Why don't you just admit you don't know where the hospital is?
      Homer: Why don't you admit I know it's around here somewhere?!

    • (after lying to Marge about reading her book)
      Homers' Brain: Now for that happy period between the lie and the time it's found out.

    • Homer: Apu, do you sell crazy straws? I've got a guy with a broken back and I'm trying to cheer him up.

    • (Researching "Who Really Shot JFK")
      Homer: Marge, I figured it out! Lee Harvey Oswald wanted to steal the Jack Ruby!
      Marge: Jack Ruby was a man, not a jewel.
      Homer: Oh, I was so close!

    • Homer: You were gonna start a novel without informing me?!
      Marge: Homer, you left two jobs and bought an ambulance without even a phone call!
      Homer: I also fed some ducklings.
      Marge: I know, I got your message.

    • (inside Lisa's mind)
      Jealousy: I can't believe Mom wrote a book before we did!
      Honesty: And it's a little trashy.
      Conscience: Mom has expressed herself. We should nurture her.
      Libido: (locked up in a cage) Let's kiss boys, binge and purge, rock n roll!
      Conscience: You're not getting out till we're sixteen.

    • Homer: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I need some dinner STAT! And the kids need some CPR lessons.
      Lisa: We're not paramedics!
      Homer: I'll say.

    • Homer: Where to, Mac?
      Comic Book Guy: For the third time, the hospital! You're an ambulance, not a taxi!
      Homer: Hospital, eh? Wow, everyone is going there tonight.

    • (looking at a painting for inspiration)
      Marge: That's it! A novel about whaling! That's something you haven't seen before. Thank you, "Scene from Moby Dick"!

    • (arriving home in the ambulance and wearing a paramedic uniform)
      Homer: Guess what! I quit my job as a used car salesman!
      Marge: You work at the Nuclear Plant!
      Homer: Get with the program, Marge.

    • Homer: I'll have to read Marge's book! And I swore never to read again after 'To Kill a Mockingbird' gave me no useful advice on killing mockingbirds. It did teach me not to judge a man based on the color of his skin, but what good does that do me?!

    • (Homer is interested in an old ambulance, so the manager turns on the siren)
      Siren: Buy me! Buy me! Buy me! Buy Me!
      Homer: I'll do it!

    • Homer: (in the novel) Hey baby! I've returned from Portsmouth! Now let me put my tongue down your mouth!

    • First line of Marge's book: There once was a girl from Nantucket…

    • Homer: How can you write such horrible things about me?
      Marge: You told me you liked it! You didn't read it at all! You lied to me!
      Homer: I didn't lie. I was writing fiction with my mouth.

    • Willie: Yeah, when it happens in a book, it's romantic. But when Willie tries to kiss ya, you're all pepper spray and finger nails!

    • Dr. Marvin Monroe: I loved this book Marge, very psychological.
      Marge: Dr. Marvin Monroe! I haven't seen you in years.
      Dr. Marvin Monroe: Oh, I've been very sick.

    • Apu: (in a suggestive voice) This is how you talk when you learn English from porno movies.

    • (looking at a billboard for Marge's' book)
      Lisa: If dad ever reads that book he's gonna be so humiliated.
      Bart: He'll never read it
      Lisa: What if they make it into a movie?
      Bart: He'll never see it.
      Lisa: What if they parody it on MadTV?
      Bart: We're doomed!!

    • Homer: Cool! An ambulance from the sixties! I bet a lot of hippies were denied care in this thing. Hehehe… injured hippies.

    • Marge: (typing) Chapter 1: Starts and Beginnings. "Swim, swim, swim" thought the whale, flapping his floppers. Brownie break! (runs into the kitchen)

    • Marge: Homie, I finished my novel…
      Homer: Wooh, typed.
      Marge: It's really important that you read it and tell me what you think.
      Homer: No problem. Aww 286 pages!
      Marge: It's double spaced.
      Homer: Woo hoo! I'm half-way through!

    • Homer: No, gotta read Marges' book! Can't get distracted. Distracted that's a funny word. Does anyone ever get 'tracted'. I'm gonna call the suicide hotline and ask 'em.

    • Tom Clancy: Hello, this is Tom Clancy. Would I say, "If you're hunting for a good read this October, Marge Simpson's book is a clear and present danger to your free time"? Hell no I wouldn't. What do you mean I just said it? That doesn't count! Hello. Hello?

  • NOTES (4)

    • As of this episode, the youngest gueststars to make a voice appearance on The Simpsons are twins Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen.

    • Reclusive author Thomas Pynchon, who is famous for his refusal to be photographed, appears in this episode wearing a paper bag over his head.

    • Blackboard Joke: None.
      Couch Gag: The couch is replaced by a large slice of apple pie and each family member's head pops out of the crust in their appropriate couch position and Homer takes a bite out of it.

    • This marks the return of Marvin Monroe, who was once said to be dead in the 138th Episode Spectacular.

  • ALLUSIONS (10)

    • Bart appears in Marge's book with his name changed to Bartleby, like the title character in Herman Melville's story Bartleby, The Scrivener.

    • When Homer starts to read Marge's novel, it begins, "There once was a girl from Nantucket." This is a reference to a very vulgar limerick that begins, "There once was a man from Nantucket." I'll leave it at that.

    • The scene where practically the whole town is on the phone gossiping about Marge's book is very similar to 'The Telephone Song' from "Bye Bye Birdie," where dozens of teenagers are on the phone talking about Kim and Hugo getting pinned. And if you freeze the frame you see Marge herself on the phone in bed with curlers in her hair.

    • Homer: "Here in my car / I am hosing off blood / Some of it's mine / But most of it's not / Here's Marge."
      The song Homer sings as he hoses blood off his ambulance is Gary Numan's 1979 new-wave hit "Cars." As usual, Homer makes up his own lyrics (the original is "Here in my car / I feel safest of all / I can lock all my doors / It's the only way to live / In cars").

    • The title of this episode is derived from the 1970 film Diary of a Mad Housewife.

    • Marge: Throw another shrimp on the barbie
      From the international tourism advertisements (featuring Paul Hogan) which Australia used in the 80s to attract people to a laid-back lifestyle in the sunburnt country. (The word 'prawn' is used in preference to shrimp in Australian culture anyway.)

    • Homer's ambulance is the exact same type of car used by the Ghostbusters in the movies and the animated TV show. It even features the same style of tail fins and siren.

    • The scene in which the four parts of Lisa's subconcious talk to one another is a reference to "Herman's Head," an early 90s-era sitcom about the warring factions of the mind of a mild-mannered fact-checker. Simpsons stars Yeardley Smith and Hank Azaria both co-starred on the show.

    • The used car market Homer works at is called "Boris' Car Loft", a reference to horror actor Boris Karloff, most famous for his role as Frankenstein's monster. Also, when Homer talks to the couple trying to sell them a car he acts like a trademark mad scientist from horror movies such as Frankenstein.

    • Marge: Please Homie, don't hurt him!
      "Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em," the 'classic' 1990 album that sold 10 million copies and was the #1 album for 21 consecutive weeks. The Simpsons writers seem to like Hammer; he was more directly referenced in "Behind the Laughter."

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