The Simpsons

Season 20 Episode 20

Four Great Women and a Manicure

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM May 10, 2009 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
179 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

A "quad-rilogy" episode featuring Simpsonized versions of history and popular cinema and literature. Selma stars as Queen Elizabeth I, Lisa stars as Snow White in a parody of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Marge stars in Lady Macbeth in a Macbeth parody, and Maggie stars as the Howard Roark character in a spoof of The Fountainhead.moreless

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  • A triolgy that was average. C

    Marge and Lisa visit the nail salon where they engage in a spirited debate as to whether a woman can be smart, powerful and beautiful all at the same time. To prove their point, they spin four tales of famous women featuring famous Springfield faces: Selma as Queen Elizabeth I, Lisa as Snow White, Marge as Lady Macbeth and Maggie (guest voice Jodie Foster) as the idealistic architect protagonist from Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead". My favorite parody would have to be MacBeth. The rest would have to be just about average nothing more. I was glad to hear Maggie speak. However, this trilogy was nothing special.moreless
  • What's armada w'you?

    An exceptional outing for the Simpsons this week as a tired but sometimes formidable three-parodies-in-one formula propels the season to new highs in both comedy and storytelling. Maybe it's the fact that much of the episode is based around works of fiction that exceed the standard output of the show by quite some pace, but rather than tack on these parodies as is usually the case-Four Great Women and a Manicure instead implements the bizarre characters of Springfield aptly with some brilliant musical numbers and intelligent, witty comedy. What's more is that each of the four stories (yes, they slip in an extra one at the last minute) has their own unique flavour and uses characters to great effect resulting in a coherent whole that doesn't feel disjointed or lazy. A season highlight for sure.moreless
  • Marge and Lisa go to a nailstudio, where four "simpsonized" stories are told. The underlying topic is the independence of women.

    Even though I prefer the classic episode, the trilogy episodes of the Simpsons are pretty watchable. Especially for non - English speaking people around the globe the short summaries of classic English literature helps to understand a lot of allusions in this and other shows. I've never read macbeth hamlet or any other Shakespeare plays, since in the original version they are really hard to understand. Still, more then one of those episodes per season would be to much. For the first time, four stories are told, which makes them a little short, especially the last one, featuring Maggie (who talks for the first time as a toddler).moreless
  • Marge and Lisa visit a nain salon and participate in a debate about whether or not women can be smart, powerful, and beautiful at the same time. They tell four stories to prove their point.moreless

    I really like these types of episodes. I'm suprised they get so much hate. To prove my point, this is now the least watched episode.

    However, like I said, I really enjoy this type of episode, and this is no exception. It started out a little boring with the Queen Elizabeth I segment, but it got much better. Next was the Snow White segment which I thought was very hilarious and clever. That was my favorite segment. I also enjoyed the MacBeth segment. I liked how the whole plot involved acting out the play, rather than a Simpsonized version of it. Lastly was The Fountainhead segment. Another great one. This time, Maggie actually talks in full sentence! That's pretty revolutionary. However, since these segments are non-canon, I guess she still hasn't talked in sentences yet. The most she has said was a word at a time.

    Overall, this is yet another excellent effort in this very consistant season.moreless
  • Abysmal


    wow, at least 10 seconds or so in and they already start the first story? new record?

    Queen Elizabeth I:

    "I like men who can make me laugh. But for you, I'll make an exception." I hated that... gay joke like that? Seriously?

    there's like nothing to say about this one... it was only 5 minutes and nothing extraordinary happened... and the end was WAY too abrupt.

    Snow White:

    "HD TV on the wall..."- because casually mentioning a real-life product is hilarious! {not really}

    the dwarves had the best parts, singing their song, but that was short.

    "This bed is too hard! This bed is too soft! This bed is... again, too hard!"- what, lame parody? i didn't think that was clever or funny in the slightest.

    Lisa's way of ending the story was again, abrupt, and not funny.

    Lady Macbeth:

    wow, this felt like a thoh segment, the killing aspects of it. i also didn't find it funny.

    "Well, three stories, and that's what we always do, three"- lame reference to the trilogy type episodes

    maggie roark:

    the repetitiveness of the guy knocking down the blocks was retarded.

    maggie talking was OK, but she didn't have any funny lines.

    "U. Suck"- how i felt watching most of the episode.

    again, ended way too quickly {and the irony of what marge was saying about "freedom of creativity" wasn't funny IMO}.

    i liked the song at the end credits, but that was like what, 25-30 seconds? it's nothing.

    so yea. i don't know if my standards are too high or whatever, but this episode is now ranked as one of my least favorites. An F for a grademoreless
Julie Kavner

Julie Kavner

Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier

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

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

Jodie Foster

Jodie Foster

Maggie Simpson

Guest Star

Pamela Hayden

Pamela Hayden

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

Recurring Role

Tress MacNeille

Tress MacNeille

Agnes Skinner, Brandine Del Roy, Dolph and others

Recurring Role

Karl Wiedergott

Karl Wiedergott

Additional Voices

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • (In the 'Queen Elizabeth' segment, Selma (as the Queen) stands a top a staircase yelling down at Marge and Homer's characters because she feels they are going against her)
      Moe (as a Jester): Whoa! Someone call Beowulf! Grendel got in again!

    • Homer (as Macbeth): Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
      to the last syllable of recorded time;
      And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
      the way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
      Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
      That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
      And then is heard no more.

  • NOTES (2)

    • For the first time in the series, Bart doesn't appear.

    • Blackboard Joke: None.
      Couch Gag: In the Simpsons' living room a sculptor chisels a piece of stone into a statue of the family seated on the couch. Not pleased with his work, he quickly takes action and chisels the stone into a statue of General Ulysses S. Grant mounted on his horse.


    • Beowulf:

      Moe, as a character, sees Selma (as the Queen, frazzled with hairy legs) yelling at Marge and Homer and says, "Someone call Beowulf! Grendel got in again!".

      Beowulf is an Old English epic poem; in it, Beowulf, the hero, slays a beast known as Grendel (and later, Grendel's mother).

    • Red Hot Riding Hood
      The wolf that appears in Grandma's House in the Snow White segment is a parody of the Wolf character that appeared in many Tex Avery cartoons of the 1940s and 1950s, most famously Red Hot Riding Hood.

    • Goldilocks and the Three Bears
      The scene in the Snow White segment where Lisa is trying to find the right bed for her is based on the story, Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

    • Four Weddings and a Funeral
      The title of this episode is a take on the title of the 1994 comedy Four Weddings and a Funeral starring Hugh Grant and Andie McDowell.