The Simpsons

Season 9 Episode 5

The Cartridge Family

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Nov 02, 1997 on FOX

Episode Recap

While the Simpson family is watching TV, they see an advertisement for a soccer match between Mexico and Portugal. When Bart asks Homer why he's never taken them to a soccer match, Homer is stumped, but the promise of autographs by players he's never heard of sells him on the match.

The family attends the match, but the overall game is so banal that the crowd's initial excitement wears off quickly and it soon escalates into a riot. But the riot doesn't end at the stadium; on Evergreen Terrace the family still doesn't feel safe. When a home security agent proves to be a pick pocketer, Homer is convinced that he needs something to protect his family. His fix is at the local firearm shop.

Homer takes a liking to a particular handgun and wishes to purchase it with a bunch of other accessories. However, he must first go through a background check. Homer is annoyed with the fact he must wait before getting his gun and rants on and on into the night, disturbing the family from sleep. The next day, Homer spends the rest of the waiting period sitting on a lawn chair, while a series of potential "targets" pass by him. Finally, Homer is back at the gun shop to check on his status for the gun. He is not pleased to see he is billed as "Potentially Dangerous", but is relieved as this only means he is limited to three handguns or less.

At home, Marge gets a horrifying surprise when Homer "surprises" her by having her stare into the barrel of his new gun. Marge is opposed to Homer having a gun; she justifies her case recounting the time Maggie shot Mr. Burns and that a report on TV says you are more likely to shoot a family member than an intruder. To educate her on the topic, Homer takes Marge to an NRA meeting; here Homer announces to the group that he would like to become a lifetime member.

Homer continues to carry his gun with him wherever he goes; while he usually means well, many times he uses it in an irresponsible manner. Finally, he and Bart go to use the supper plates as clay pigeons. At the table, the family starts to use whatever they can find to eat off of when Homer takes a moment to say he is hosting the next NRA meeting. At the time, he has pulled out his gun and Marge tells him not to bring it to the table. When Homer can't seem to put the safety on, some fancy trick shooting ends with a picture of Marge getting stabbed right between the eyes with a knife. Marge takes a moment to tell Homer that this gun is causing her to fear for her life and pleads Homer to get rid of it.

Sometime later, Bart and Milhouse are looking for some Fudgesicles when Bart finds Homer didn't get rid of his gun; he stored it in the vegetable crisper. When Marge comes home, she finds Bart and Milhouse using it to play William Tell and snatches it out of Bart's hand. Furious with Homer for reneging on his promise, Marge takes the kids and leaves.

Marge and the kids go to Patty and Selma's apartment to stay, but its at a bad time; Selma is trying to seduce the TV repairman. She hands them a matchbook for a hotel called the "Sleep-Eazy Motel". Arriving there, the Sleep-Eazy Motel, with three of the letters burned out, is a "Sleazy Motel". While they stay there, the kids think this motel is pretty cool, but Marge doesn't think the motel is so nice.

Homer's NRA meeting at the house is a success, but once the other members see that Homer uses his gun in an extremely reckless manner, he loses his membership at the NRA and is kicked out of his own house until the meeting is over. During the night, the meeting has ended and Homer finds himself alone in the house. While he kills time shooting out some light bulbs, Homer acknowledges that the gun cost him everything except the gun. Soon left in the darkness, Homer wants his family back.

At the motel, Marge is guarding the door and the kids still aren't asleep. After a possible intruder turns out to just be Mayor Diamond Joe Quimby, Marge soon finds Homer searching for them. Homer begs Marge and the kids to come home and tells her that he had finally gotten rid of the gun.

While they checkout of the motel, Snake appears at the door, demanding the motel clerk hand over the money. He takes Mayor Diamond Joe Quimby hostage while holding a knife to his throat. Homer pulls out his gun and holds it on the criminal, allowing the Mayor some time to escape. Marge chooses a poor time to start an argument with Homer when Snake rips the gun out of his hand. While trying to load it, the other NRA members appear at the door and hold guns on Snake. Snake drops his gun, grabs the cash, and runs out the door.

Homer apologizes for lying again and tells Marge to get rid of the gun out of fear of breaking further promises. He takes the kids and leaves the motel. When Marge sees herself in the trashcan lid, she takes a moment to admire herself with the gun and keeps it for herself.
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