The Simpsons

Season 9 Episode 5

The Cartridge Family

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

Episode Fan Reviews (16)

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  • Homer + Stupidity + Owning a gun = Hilarious!

    "The Cartridge Family"

    Grade: A*

    One of the funniest Simpsons episodes ever. Following a basic plot of Homer buying and owning a gun, to not realising the recklessness he is causing with it. The Cartridge Family delivers everything well, with some moral issues, funny moments, and a good plot despite its simplicity.

    The episode begins with a soccer match involving Mexico and Portugal, turning into a riot after Groundskeeper Willie starts it after the lost interest in the match, The Simpsons family decide to buy Home Security for their house, but after realising it will cost $500, Homer decides to save the money by buying a firearm instead.
    Homer enters the gun shop and wants to buy a gun, but needs to wait for 5 days for checkups, which annoys him and would want to shoot the gun owner if he had a gun. After waiting for 5 days in the garden looking for targets to shoot (Flanders and Patty and Selma), he enters the store and is restricted to owning 3 handguns only and buys one.
    He surprises Marge by closing her eyes and opening them when its pointing right in front of her face. Marge is horrified and wants Homer to get rid of it. Homer decides to try to change her mind by taking her to the National Rifle Association (NRA), but after watching the presentation, Marge still isn't so sure.
    After casually taking the gun into the Kwik-E-Mart with no worries, frightening Apu into thinking of robbing the store, Homer decides to shoot objects from the house into the air as if they were clay pigeons. His recklessness with the gun goes too far after bringing the gun to the dinner table with the family, as keeping the safety off causes gunshots to occur near them. Marge has no choice but to tell Homer to get rid of the gun, or he'll lose the family. Homer says he'll get rid of it for Marge.
    Unfortunately, Bart and Milhouse discover the gun in the vegetable section of the fridge, and this causes Bart to use it to try and shoot the apple in Milhouse's mouth. After Marge discovers that Homer lied, she takes the family out, concluding its too dangerous to live with Homer whilst he still has the gun around with him.
    With Marge gone and Homer thinking he'll be fine by himself with just the gun, he hosts an NRA meeting in his house with the other members as a celebration. When the other members see him use his gun to open a beer can and turn the TV on, they conclude he is too reckless to be owning a gun, and strip his membership card off him as a result.
    Homer, realsing that the gun cost him everything, heads to where the family is staying, which is a hotel. Homer says he got rid of the gun, and just as they are leaving, Snake comes in to try and rob the hotel desk. He puts a knife up to Quimby's throat, and Homer quickly withdraws the gun he had hidden and foils his plans. Just as Marge gets annoyed at him again for lying, Snake takes the gun off him and the rest of the NRA members come at the nick of time to save them. Snake runs off, but Homer decides that he doesn't want the gun, and wants Marge to throw it away instead so that he can't be tempted anymore. Just as Homer and the others leave though, Marge sees a reflection of herself with the gun, and instead keeps it for herself instead of abandoning it.

    So overall, this episode was hilarious and shows a pro/anti side message of owning a gun as well. Homer's stupidity with owning one was great, and the twist at the end of Marge secretly having the gun instead was a nice touch. One of my favourite quotes is when Homer says "It's a handgun isn't it great? This is the trigger, and this is the thing you point at whatever you want to die!" and "I don't have to be careful, I've got a gun!". It's no surprise that this episode was originally banned on Sky One, due to lots of moments of reckless gun usage, but The Cartridge Family did everything flawlessly and might be the best episode of Season 9.
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