The Simpsons

Season 4 Episode 21

Marge in Chains

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM May 06, 1993 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
207 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Marge in Chains
Marge gets busted for shoplifting at the Kwik-E-Mart and is sentenced to thirty days in prison. Bart concocts a brilliant scheme to break her out that involves a party dress, a wig and a crowbar. But what finally springs Marge is the rioting townspeople of Springfield, who desperately need the inmate's patented marshmallow squares for the Springfield Park Commission's annual bake sale.moreless

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  • perfect

    what i liked- marge accidentally shoplifting, apu's line about 'that bi*** is going to fry' (or whatever he says, when homer wants him to drop the charges against marge), the ending with the jimmy carter statue having marge's hair, and bart and lisa playing tether-ball, lionel hutz' appearance, everyone suffering because marge is in jail, etc.

    good episode. not one of my favorites, despite the perfect score. It is a perfect score, but i feel it is kind of weaker than other episodes i give a perfect score to, if that makes sense. Still, a good enough episode for me to give it an A+ as my final grademoreless
  • this was a good ep

    in this ep of the simpsons there is a flu academic sweeping springfield and marge goes to the kwik mart and she is so distracted for her family she accidently shoplifts and is aressted. and sent to womens jail and bart has a plan to get her out by using a crow bar and but that does not get her out but the thing that does get her out is the marsh mellow squars recipt that is hers they would have to purchase jimmy carter stauch instead of arbraham lincoln and they reless marge this wasa good ep i thoughtmoreless
  • Marge goes to jail.

    While shopping at the Kwik-E-Mart, Marge accidentally forgets to pay for Grampa's bottle of bourbon and is arrested for shoplifting. Lionel Hutz is hired to defend Marge at her trial. She is sentenced to jail for 30 days after she is found guilty. Marge's absence is felt at home as well as the annual bake sale. Without her marshmallow squares, the Springfield Park Commission fails to raise enough money to pay for a statue of Abraham Lincoln. They purchase one of Jimmy Carter instead. The townspeople riot, and Marge is is released from jail. The townspeople cheerfully welcome her back. No complaints on this episode. It had a nice plot, and Lionel Hutz was hilarious in this episode. Definately give this episode a watch!moreless
  • No complants by me

    Marge gets busted for shoplifting at the Kwik-E-Mart and is sentenced to thirty days in prison. Bart concocts a brilliant scheme to break her out that involves a party dress, a wig and a crowbar. But what finally springs Marge is the rioting townspeople of Springfield, who desperately need the inmate's patented marshmallow squares for the Springfield Park Commission's annual bake sale. Guest star: David Crosby as himself. A hilarious episode espically when Homer had that devil costume on, but it was fun to see how much an influence MArge had on Springfield. All and All season 4 is turning out pretty good, and this is one of the many reasons why...moreless
  • The definition of series classic.

    What do you get when Marge is charged with shoplifting, with only a sizeable spell court with only Lionel Hutz to save her. Comedy Gold. A classic episode littered with classic quotes and gags, most of which are uttered by the great Phil Hartman. If only the current crop of writers could create something half as funny as this episode the Simpsons might return to form.
Dan Castellaneta

Dan Castellaneta

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

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

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

David Crosby

David Crosby


Guest Star

Phil Hartman

Phil Hartman

Lionel Hutz, Troy McClure and Additional Voices

Recurring Role

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

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (9)

    • Apu writes down Marge's height as 8'6, including her hair.

    • When Homer visits Marge in his Halloween costume, he's wearing the same costume as Evil Homer from "Whacking Day."

    • The Mayor's seal says, "Corruptus in Extremis."

    • When the family runs out of clothes, Homer can fit into Marge's wedding dress. This alludes to the fact that Marge was pregnant when Homer and Marge got married as mentioned in previous episodes such as "I Married Marge."

    • In the highway out of Springfield, we see a sign with posted miles: 47 to Shelbyville, 63 to North Haverbrook, and 678 to Mexico City. This is interesting since Shelbyville is seen as a rival city, but is so far away (not to mention that, in "Lemon of Troy," there is a signed border indicating the two cities touch). Also, 678 miles to Mexico City puts Springfield somewhere in Texas if not Mexico.

    • The conjugal visit trailer next to Homer and Marge's features a bumper sticker reading: DONT COME A-KNOCKIN' IF THIS VANS A ROCKIN'

    • According to Dr. Hibbert, Marge has webbed toes.

    • According to the DVD commentary for this episode when Marge is hauled off to jail she used to say "Who's watching the Kwik-E-Mart?" And Julie Kavner (the voice of Marge) was so annoyed by the line that there is one take where she said "Who's watching the Kwik-E-Mart and who the F--- cares."

    • Homer wears a devil's costume when the family visits Marge in prison, because he doesn't have anymore clean clothes.

  • QUOTES (17)

    • Bart: Mr. Hutz, when I grow up, I want to be a lawyer just like you.
      Lionel Hutz: Good for you, son! If there's one thing America needs, it's more lawyers.

    • Marge: ...And a bottle of Aspirin, please.
      Apu: The Aspirin is $24.95.
      Marge: $24.95?!
      Apu: I lowered the price because an escaped mental patient tampered with the bottle.

    • (Inside Bart's head)
      Cell #1: Sarge! We keep getting orders to let the virus win.
      Cell #2: Must be a school day. Lay down your arms!
      Virus: Alright! Let's make some pus.

    • Arnie Pie: (From the traffic copter) Route 401 is going around and around and around and around and around and look out at the corner of 12th and Main because I'm going to be sick!

    • (Lionel Hutz tries to give Judge Snyder a fake verdict)
      Judge Snyder: This verdict is written on a cocktail napkin. And it still says "guilty." And "guilty" is spelled wrong!

    • Marge: Is that an old Halloween costume?
      Homer: (wearing a devil costume) Uh…no.

    • Lisa: It seems like I've been wearing this same red dress forever!

    • Lawyer: Ladies and gentlemen of the jury. Who do you find more attractive? Tom Cruise or Mel Gibson?
      Judge: What is the point of all this?
      Lawyer: I feel so confident of Marge Simpson's guilt that I can waste the court's time by rating the super hunks.

    • Ned: Now Marge don't you worry, we've all had our brushes with the law.
      Cop: Are you Ed Flanders?
      Ned: No, Ned Flanders.
      Cop: My mistake.

    • Apu: We're putting that bitch on ice!

    • Chief Wiggum: All right, come out with your hands up, two cups of coffee, an auto freshener that says 'Capricorn', and something with coconut on it!

    • Ned: Watch Fox and be damned for all eternity.

    • Mr. Burns: Who the devil are you?
      Homer's Brain: Don't panic. Just come up with a good story.
      Homer: My name is Mr. Burns!
      Homer's Brain: D'oh!

    • McClure: Are you sure it's on!? I can't hear a thing! (as the Juice Loosener clatters loudly)
      Dr. Nick: It's whisper quiet!

    • Bart: Who's gonna change Maggie?
      Homer: We're going to let her roam free in the backyard and nature will take its course.

    • Marge: Knock, knock. I'm Marge Simpson, your new cellmate.
      Phillips: I'm Phillips. They called me that because I killed my husband with a Phillips-head screwdriver.

    • Hutz: Now don't you worry, Mrs. Simpson, I- uh-oh. We've drawn Judge Snyder.
      Marge: Is that bad?
      Hutz: Well, he's kind of had it in for me, since I accidently ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidently" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

  • NOTES (2)

    • Blackboard Joke: I do not have diplomatic immunity.
      Couch Gag: A miniature-sized family climb onto the couch.

    • Marge is accused of shop lifting and hires Lionel Hutz, played by Phil Hartman, as her attorney. In the middle of the trial, Lionel gets an urge for whisky, so he calls his AA sponsor, David Crosby of Crosby Stills Nash and Young. When David Crosby answers the phone he is looking at the CSNY emblem on an album, which Phil Hartman designed himself in the late-'70s.


    • Grassy Knoll
      In his testimony in court Professor Frink shows a grainy film, much like the Zapruder film of the JFK assassination, and makes reference to Marge being on the grassy knoll. The grassy knoll is where the 2nd gunman was positioned in a conspiracy theory, which was included in the 1991 film JFK by Oliver Stone.

    • Lisa: You're a modern day Clarence Darrow!
      Clarence Seward Darrow (April 18, 1857 – March 13, 1938) was an American lawyer and leading member of the American Civil Liberties Union, best known defending teenaged thrill killers Leopold and Loeb in their trial for murdering 14 year old Bobby Franks and defending John T. Scopes in the so-called "Monkey" Trial (1925). He remains notable for his wit, compassion and agnosticism that marked him as one of the most famous American lawyers and civil libertarians.

    • Jimmy Carter Statue: "Malaise Forever"
      On July 15, 1979, Carter gave a nationally-televised address in which he identified what he believed to be a "crisis of confidence" among the American people. This has come to be known as his "malaise" speech, even though he did not use the word "malaise" anywhere in the text.

    • Les Miserables
      This is the first appearance of a recurring joke in that Marge's inmate number is 24601, which was convict Jean Valjean's number in the novel and Broadway musical "Les Miserables." This number later shows up on other incarcerated characters including Sideshow Bob.

    • Married…With Children
      A short clip featuring Al & Peg from the show Married With Children can be seen when Ned Flanders wonders why his family got the flu.

    • Psycho
      When Maude is spying on Marge through a hole in the wall, it is a reference to the scene from the classic 1960 film Psycho, when Norman is watching Marion Crane get undressed in her motel room.

    • Alice In Chains
      The makers of this episode may have been referring to the hit grunge band, Alice In Chains, of the same era, when they decided on the title.

    • Hutz: Can you imagine a world without lawyers?
      After Hutz says this, he imagines in his head the Coca-Cola "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing" commercial from the early 1970s.