The Simpsons

Season 2 Episode 13

Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Feb 07, 1991 on FOX

Episode Recap

Opening Credits: Blackboard joke: I will not make flatulent noises in class. Couch gag: The family enters the living room, does a little Egyptian dance and jumps on the couch in unison.

Act One: A title card reads Mt. Sinai: 1220 B.C. The camera pans down from a shot of Mt. Sinai and reveals a village of Israelites below. Hezron, Carver of Graven Images, is busy working at his tent, making miniature golden calf statues to sell for profit; when Homer the Thief, who bears a striking resemblance to Homer Simpson, approaches and greets Hezron. While the two make small talk, Homer steals mini statues whenever Hezron isn't looking. Zohar the Adulterer approaches and joins the conversation. The three of them converse together when suddenly; Moses appears on the side of the mountain bearing the Ten Commandments. Hezron, Homer, and Zohar are all disappointed to hear that the traits that they have earned names for are now banned by God and his Commandments.

Flash forward to the present. Homer sleeps in a hammock in the backyard, and is awakened by the sound of Ned Flanders yelling at a cable TV repairman. After Ned chases the man off his property, Homer walks up to the fence and asks Ned what all that was about. Ned explains that he called the cable company to have them hook up the Arts and Crafts Channel, and that the repairman offered to illegally hook up Ned, with free cable for only $50. Ned explains that he wants to take no part in any illegal activity. Homer cuts Ned off mid sentence and runs out into the middle of the road, in front of the cable TV truck, forcing the repairman to stop. The repairman gets out of the truck to see what the matter is, and Homer begs him for some free cable.

Inside the house, the repairman hooks up the illegal, free cable, as Homer nervously wonders aloud if it is okay to steal cable. The repairman finishes and hands Homer a pamphlet about the pros and cons of stealing cable to put his mind at ease. Later, Homer sits on the couch enjoying his cable when Marge and the kids come home from grocery shopping. Homer proudly announces to everyone that they now have cable. The kids rush to the TV excited, while Marge voices her reservations to Homer. He hands her the pamphlet to read and she quickly changes her tune when Homer switches the channel to, Hear Me Roar, the network for women. A montage of Homer watching TV all hours of the day and night ensues. Homer never leaves his spot on the couch until Sunday morning when Marge tells him to get ready for church.

At church, Reverend Lovejoy preaches to the congregation while, Bart and Lisa discuss the topic of Hell in Sunday school class. The teacher, Miss Albright, leads the discussion; Lisa looks a little scared as Miss Albright describes what Hell is like. Bart, however, is eagerly soaking up all the information she has to offer. Martin Prince asks Miss Albright what it would take to avoid such a bad place. She answers by telling him that all he has to do is obey the Ten Commandments. Miss Albright points to some banners behind her, on them, the Ten Commandments are written. A frightened Lisa shudders as she focuses in on the 8th Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Steal.

In the car ride home from church, Lisa is still worried about what she has learned in class earlier, while Bart is excitedly telling Homer and Marge all about Hell. At the house, the family sits down to watch some cable TV, and Lisa asks Homer if he is sure that what they are doing is not stealing. He tells her to read the pamphlet and the rest of the family goes back to watching TV. As they watch a Troy McClure infomercial about a candy that cleans and straightens teeth, Lisa begins to wig out. She envisions the walls of the house melting away to reveal the fiery pits of Hell surrounding the family. She sees flames all around and the Devil perched on the couch with the rest of her family watching TV. The Devil taunts Lisa, telling her to join them in watching; He tells her all it will cost is her soul. Lisa snaps back to reality, screams loudly and runs out of the living room; leaving the family looking bewildered.

Act Two: At the grocery store, Lisa watches as Marge eats two grapes while shopping in the produce section. Lisa confronts Marge and reminds her of the 8th Commandment. Later, at the checkout counter, Lisa gives Marge a look to make her feel guilty and Marge asks to be charged for the two grapes. The cashier ridicules Marge for caring about paying for two measly grapes, but Lisa looks up at Marge with approval.

At home, while Homer watches cable TV alone, Lisa walks in the living room and confronts him. He pulls her up on his knee for a chat; she tells him that she learned in Sunday school that stealing is a sin. She wonders aloud why everyone steals, even him. She tries to tell Homer that watching the stolen cable is a sin, but he argues his point. He tells Lisa that she didn't pay for the clothes she is wearing or for the food that she eats, so she must be stealing too. Homer's attention quickly turns to a commercial announcing a big heavyweight boxing match for the upcoming Friday night. Lisa is upset that she didn't get through to Homer and she sighs as she walks away.

The next day at the power plant, Carl and Lenny talk about their plans to listen to round by round updates of the big fight and then catch the still photos on the 11 o'clock news. Homer pipes up and brags to them that he is going watch the fight on TV at his house, and invites all the guys to come over and watch it. In Mr. Burns' office, Mr. Burns and Smithers watch the surveillance footage and hear Carl, Lenny and Homer's entire conversation. Mr. Burns tells Smithers that he wants to go Homer's to watch the fight. Smithers tells him he could just pay for the fight himself, but Mr. Burns explains that it is the camaraderie of other men, all watching the fight together, that he seeks. After work at Moe's, Homer invites Barney and the guys to watch the fight on Friday and they all graciously accept. Later, while Homer picks up some beer at the Kwik-E-Mart, he invites Apu to come over for the fight also.

At the church, Lisa has a meeting with Reverend Lovejoy to seek his advice about what to do with Homer and his illegal cable TV. The Reverend suggests that Lisa should set a positive example for Homer, by not watching the cable TV at all. Lisa is pleased and thanks him for the advice. Later, that night at home, Bart is in the living room alone, watching the "Top Hat" adult entertainment channel. Homer walks in the room and catches Bart watching the mature programming; he tells Bart that the channel is for adults only and makes him promise never to watch it again. Just then Lisa walks in and announces to Homer that she thinks stealing cable is wrong and that she won't be watching TV anymore. As Lisa walks away, Homer tries to bribe her with "horsies" on the horse racing channel, but she stays firm in her commitment.

Later in bed, Homer discusses his concern about Lisa with Marge. Marge tells Homer that Lisa is losing respect for him, and that if they didn't have cable, Bart wouldn't have had the chance to watch the adult channel. She suggests unhooking the cable and Homer instantly balks at the idea. She then suggests if he really wants the cable, maybe he should pay for it. Homer tells her that when he can afford cable, he will pay for it, but until then the cable stays. Marge persists and tells him that she thinks the cable TV has become an evil presence in their home. Homer counters back by literally putting his foot down on the issue and he tells her that the cable is going to stay.

Act Three: A bored Homer sits on the couch and flips through the channels on the TV, when suddenly, the cable TV repairman walks in from the kitchen. In his hands is a car stereo that looks like it has just been stolen, he offers the $500 car stereo to Homer for $40. Homer angrily rushes the repairman out of his house, telling him the he doesn't associate with criminals. The repairman tells Homer he'll just go and see if Ned wants the radio, and Homer tells the repairman that Ned isn't home. A sly smile comes over the repairman's face as he hears this news and a frightened look appears on Homer's face. Cut to outside the house; Homer has installed extra deadbolt locks on the front door and is busy fastening bars to all the windows. Marge comes out and asks him if all the security is necessary and Homer tells her that you can never be too careful. Later at the backdoor to the house, Bart charges admission to a group of boys who have all gathered to watch the "Top Hat" channel. They all ooh and ah at the TV, when Homer comes in through the back door and is shocked to see what is going on. All the boys quickly run out and Homer sends Bart to his room. Bart pouts and wonders aloud, why it is okay for adults to break the rules; Homer realizes that Bart is talking about him and doesn't like what he has heard.

That night, Barney, Apu, and others begin to file into the family room, where Homer has set up the TV. They all watch some of the pre-game coverage for the fight, when Lisa steps in front of the TV to inform everyone that she is nonviolently protesting the illegal cable, by not watching the fight. Homer starts to yell at her, but is interrupted by another guest ringing the doorbell. When Homer sees it is Moe at the door he panics and quickly runs around the house to snatch up the all mugs that he has stolen from Moe's bar. Homer throws the mugs in the closet and returns to answer the door, but a disapproving Lisa silently stands in the way. Homer orders her to protest outside and then greets Moe at the door. Homer looks over Moe's shoulder and sees Mr. Burns and Smithers walking up to the house. He yanks Moe in and panics again, as he runs around the house collecting up items that he has stolen from work. As he hands everything to Bart for him to hide, he spots Lisa staring in at him through the window with another disapproving look. Homer answers the door and Mr. Burns acts coy and tells Homer that he was just in the neighborhood and decided to stop by; Homer invites Mr. Burns and Smithers in, to watch the fight. While Homer still stands at the doorstep, Eddie and Lou approach from behind and greet him. Homer screams and the cops ask if he does indeed have an illegal cable hookup. Homer starts to backpedal and make excuses, but Eddie and Lou don't care, they just want to watch the fight. A relieved Homer quickly ushers them in and slams the door.

Outside in the front yard, Marge and Maggie join Lisa in her protest. Lisa comments that her protest hasn't really changed anything, and Marge reassures her by saying, "When you love somebody, you have to have faith that in the end they will do the right thing." Inside, the pre-game coverage continues; a profile of Tatum, one of the fighters, is shown. It turns out that Tatum, spent 5 years in prison, and as Homer watches, it triggers him to picture himself in prison for stealing cable. As the fight starts, a guilty Homer grabs Bart and they join Lisa in the front yard. Homer admits that he knows he is doing the right thing, but is upset that he had to do it at the worst possible time. He tells Lisa that as soon as the fight is over he will cut the cable wire. As the crowd cheers inside while watching the fight, Homer agonizes outside, knowing that he is missing one of the greatest fights in history.

After the fight everyone files out of the house commenting on how great the fight was. As everyone drives away, Homer reluctantly climbs to the top of the power pole in front of his house. He looks over the wires, not knowing which one to cut. The first wire he snips causes the power to go out on one side of the street; the second snipped wire causes the other side of the street to lose power. When Homer snips a third wire, the screen suddenly cuts to TV static and the credits begin to roll.

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

Run Time: 23:06
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