The Simpsons

Season 17 Episode 1

The Bonfire of the Manatees

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Sep 11, 2005 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
334 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The Bonfire of the Manatees
Homer gets into trouble with football gambling debts. As compensation, Fat Tony wants to use the Simpson home for shooting the adult film “Lemony Lickit: A Series of Horny Events.” Homer gets Marge and the kids to leave the house by sending them off to “Santa’s Village.” Marge and the kids return home to find the production is still underway. Marge, outraged by Homer’s latest bit of idiocy, leaves. Homer, home alone with the kids tries to figure out what to do next. Just when Marge is about ready to reconcile with Homer, she encounters Caleb Thorn, a good looking scientist with a passion for saving the endangered manatee. Homer and the kids go on a quest to find Marge and they stop and stay with some “country cousins,” meanwhile Marge is finding herself while helping to save manatees. Homer tries to win Marge back by save a herd of manatees from a gang of jet skiers. His effort pays off as Marge takes home the endangered species of her own, the endangered devoted husband. The family decides to take a mini-vacation and Homer gets a manatee sent to the power plant to fill in for his job for the next few days.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Awful, Simply Awful.

    The episode starts off with Homer complaining to Lisa about betting on football matches. I thought for one disturbing moment that it was going to be a recylcing of 'Lisa the Greek' but in the end it went in a different direction, and was much much worse than I had feared.

    Instead, Homer has to pay off his gambling debts to Fat Tony and so lets him shoot a pornography film in the Simpsons' house, getting the rest of the family out of the way by sending them to a Christmas village in August, which was actually the funniest scene of the episode. However, when the family gets back the film crew is still there, Marge gets mad and saves some manatees, Homer tries to get her back, and in the end does so by saving some manatees.

    This episode was cringe-worthily bad. Completely unfunny. From the very first minute where they had Bear vs Millionaire, and the bear turned out to be a tiger (a very similar scene had taken place in Family Guy a few years before) I expected the worst, and the Simpsons duly delivered. I could understand it not being funny if the plot was good, and they weren't trying so hard to cram the episode with as many hilarious pranks as possible. After all, Seasons 1-3 weren't very funny, yet they were still brilliant.


    Because they delivered emotion. Because the plots weren't zany. Because the chemistry between the characters was believable and touching. Something the Simpsons nowadays couldn't dream of doing.

    Take the scene where Marge finds out about Homer shooting pornography at the house. In an earlier season, you would care. For example in 'Secrets of a Successful Marriage', when Marge threw Homer out, there was a feeling of real angst. However, this time Marge screamed a bit and stormed out and then they made some jokes about Marge slamming into Homers car. There was no focus on how Homer or Marge really felt, there could have been a moment where you saw Homers pure desperation or Marges feeling of being let down.

    The reason these plots are so bad isn't that they have been recycled, it's that they're just not believable. You don't feel for the characters at all, there's no sense that this might actually be it. Even in 'Secrets of a Successful Marriage' we knew that everything was going to be alright. This is the Simpsons, it always is, but it was so well written and directed that you thought it might be. Instead of filling the episode with gags and constantly looking for cheap laughs, the Simpsons would be better off focusing on getting the chemistry back, otherwise there will be no one around to watch the 25th season.moreless
  • Let´s save the manatee

    They can not do it with those animals. They teache people how to kill a manatee, that´s terrible. In Brazil, for exemple, this a crime, to kill a manatee, and people can go to prision, because of that.

    People in Brazil, spend a lot of time taking care of those animals, and everything that they teach people to preserve the manatee the Simpson´s Familly do to exteminate manatee of the world.

    If it´s possible, i give an ZERO (0) to this episode!moreless
  • Embarrassingly bad.

    I don't know how many times these new writers can recycle the same plotline. Homer and Marge break up. Wow. It was funny back in Season 5. Why the hell is it still being used?

    I'm not going to complain about how bad this episode is, but let me just conclude by stating that the line "Gay mafia" followed by Homer getting hurt isn't a joke. It's a key component to one of the all-time worst Simpsons episodes ever made, if not the worst.moreless
  • Marriage Fight #209 {random number heehee}

    Homer gets in trouble with Marge when he lets Mobster Fat Tony and his crew make an adult snuggle film in the house. She gets mad at him for not telling her AND for allowing this to happen. So she runs away and winds up with a good-looking man who is worried about saving manatees. In the end, Homer wins back Marge after trying to defend some manatees from punks trying to hurt them.

    A bad episode, it didn't have really many funny parts and it had some disgusting parts scattered around. My overall grade for this episode is D-moreless
  • Amazing way to kick off a season... Very funny and very touching.

    When Homer accumulates gambling debts, Fat Tony asks to use the Simpsons home to shoot an adult film. When Marge comes home and sees the film being made, she leaves Homer and the kids. Marge encounters Caleb Thorn, a scientist with the passion for saving the endangered manatee. Homer and the kids drive off to find Marge and stop off at their country cousins house on the way. When they locate Marge, Homer decides the only way to get Marge back on side is to save a herd of manatees from a jetski gang. But when his mouth gets the better of him, the gang ends up beating Homer to a pulp. His cousins save him and Marge tends to the wounded Homer. She decides the only endangered species for her is her devoted husband. The family takes a vacation and Homer hires a manatee to fill his position at the power plant.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

Alec Baldwin

Alec Baldwin

Caleb Thorn

Guest Star

Joe Mantegna

Joe Mantegna

Fat Tony

Recurring Role

Karl Wiedergott

Karl Wiedergott

Additional Voices

Recurring Role

Tress MacNeille

Tress MacNeille

Agnes Skinner, Brandine Del Roy, Dolph and others

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (14)

    • Homer: Who's gonna watch the kids?
      Marge: You are.
      Homer: Me? But I'm the father.

    • Marge: My Christmas Present to myself this year was leaving that place early.
      Lisa: Mom, I got a rash where the reindeer licked me…
      Bart: When they put Santa in the ambulance, why'd they pull the blanket all the way up over his head?

    • (catching Homer letting an adult film be made in their house)
      Marge: Homer! Is this a snuggle film!?!
      Homer: Errr…You're in the wrong house lady!

    • Homer: Look, we've been down this road before, I do something stupid, your mom leaves; we eat waffles!

    • Homer: Gotta find your mom, gotta find your mom…
      Bart: (caged in a dog carrier) Dad, I promise I'll be good… can I get out of the dog carrier?
      Homer: It was hard enough getting you in there; I'm not letting you out.

    • Homer: Now if you'll excuse me, I have to use the outhouse again.
      Female Cousin: Well, we don't have an outhouse…
      Male Cousin: My recording studio!

    • Marge: I found a place where I'm needed.
      Homer: You're needed at home!
      Marge: And treated like I deserve.
      Homer: (pause) You're needed at home!

    • (Homer tries to stop the Jet-skiers from hurting the manatees)
      Homer: Why don't you pick on someone your own size?!?
      Jet-skier #1: They are roughly our size.
      Jet-skier #2: In fact, they're bigger than us.

    • Bart: I wanna see Santa. He can explain why he gave me a Playstation box with nothing inside but a coloring book.
      Homer: It got your hopes up, didn't it?

    • Lisa: Those reindeer look really uncomfortable.
      Elf: (annoyed tone of voice) That's because they don't thrive in this environment!

    • Jet Skier: We respect two things, bravery and tattoos that look like barbed wire.

    • Homer: (on phone) Hello, Marge? Does the pizza guy take a check? If so, where do we keep the checks? And lastly, how do you write a check?

    • Homer: Manatees, defend!
      (The manatees swim away.)

    • Homer: Rugged? Is that the same as handsome?
      Diner Chef: No senor. Handsome means he look at himself in a mirror all day. Rugged means you look at him.

  • NOTES (2)

    • This episode was rated TV 14.

    • Blackboard Joke: Does any kid still do this anymore?
      Couch Gag: The family enters the living room via a metal detector, only Homer sets off the alarm and must takes his clothes off; but even in his underwear, Homer still sets off the detector. Then the security guard used the hand metal detector but it still goes off.


    • "I've got my groove back!"
      This line references the 1998 film How Stella Got Her Groove Back, starring Angela Bassett as a stock broker who travels to Jamaica and starts a romance with a much younger man.

    • Casino
      When Homer has his hands hammered, it is reference to the 1995 film Casino, where Sam Rothstein orders a casino cheat to have his hand hammered.

    • Lemony Lickit: A Series of Horny Events:

      The title of the adult movie is clearly a parody of the books and the movie called Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events.

    • Bonfire of the Vanities
      The title of this episode is a take-off of the title of the Tom Wolfe novel and Brian De Palma film, Bonfire of the Vanities.

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