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The Simpsons

Season 15 Episode 4

The Regina Monologues

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Nov 23, 2003 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
141 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

The Regina Monologues
The family takes a vacation to London and Grampa meets up with a long lost love of his past.

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  • The Funniest Vacation so far is the winner

    The episode start so nice as usual and then there's that visit to UK which is so funny and I just loved that much of the Guest stars from Tony Blair , Ian McKellen and my favorite J. K Rowling.. so nice spoofs also for many of the UK.
  • A smashing episode

    In it; following an outlandish introduction that sees Bart come into possession of $1000 and open a museum. The family travel to England where they enjoy an enlightening culturual experience until Homer crashes into the Queen's cart and is jailed. Aside from the viciously stereotypical "Australia" episode, the show has never put a foot wrong when The Simpsons jet off to an overseas location and this one doesn't just keep up this trend but sets the bar even higher for any future episode that depicts America's favourite family wreaking international havoc. Any potential boredom that Grandpa Simpsons's soppy storyline might've offered is thankfully never realised as the plot is only given enough time for a brief yet amusing beginning, middle and end which gives the viewer a huge amount of time to enjoy the Simpsons's British escapades. What makes this episode particularly notable is that it was the final one written by longtime Simpsons author John Swartzwelder. Despite being the most prolific, contributing and (undeniably) talented Simpsons writer he is also the most elusive, never appearing on a DVD commentary and only having two photos in circulation. This episode has all the quintessential features of a Swartzwelder script; some old timey American elements, absurd surrealism, the use of violence for comedic effect, some insanely witty one-liners and overall a relentlessly funny experience that combines a remorseless assault of comedy with a plot whose careful devlopment is complimented by this rather than being compromised by it. A great episode is made better by the numerous British guest stars, from a suprisingly enthusastic Tony Blair to a rather weary J.K Rowling and the always delightfully booming Sir Ian Mckellen. It is very obvious that the Queen had been asked to lend her regal vocals to this episode and i cannot imagine a more steadfast "no" being given by anyone in any situation, except perhaps by John himself in response to the numerous requests for him to appear in a DVD commentary. Not only are these cameos hilarious and allows the show to add a few more notches to their enormous guest star belt but it also takes the pressure off of the voice actors who don't need to wear themselves out with yet another British voice and impression. Director Mark Kirkland is helped by the much improved animation quality and detail which this episode proudly boastsandmakes this avisual delight which includes detailed recreations of English attractions, some decent imitiations of the guest star's faces and also numerous zany effects which captures the surreal vision of the writer, can be labelled as one of his biggest achievements. However, in writing this review one must view the episode critically and ignore the rose-colored lense that being a gushing Simpsons and Swartzwelder fan gives me as I point out the only key flaw in the episode; the ending. The half hour of breezy satire and fun is not done justice by ending on a hilarious pinnacle but rather abruptly breaks off in the middle of an exchange between Homer and his sister-in-law; instead of laughing as the credits roll we are rather letdown and forced to compute something that no-one ever thought would be associated with a Swartzwelder episode (let alone his final one) "anti-climax". "The Regina Monologues" is a fine send-off to this brilliant writer and after watching it you cannot help but feel mournful that his monumental impact on this great show has been ceased too soon. However, his memory will always be kept alive through viewing any one of his uniformly excellent past episodes which this one is the end of and addition to.moreless
  • Funniest episode of "The Simpsons" that I've ever seen!

    Age is a cruel thing to television shows, epsecially to those rare few shows that produce over 300 episodes. Most of the time, tv shows that surpass the 300 episode mark lose the ability to make you laugh or care for their show anymore...but not "The Simpsons!" It's one of the few rare shows that despite being 300+ episodes old, can still produce a gem that makes me laugh! I especially enjoyed the gag about J. K. Rowling giving away the fake ending to the "Harry Potter" book series! When it comes to laughs, this show has still got it! :Dmoreless
  • The Simpsons go to England.

    The only question that remains in my mind after watching this episode and logging on to this website is why is this episode hated so much? I thought the plot was well done and it had so many hilarious jokes in it. This in my opinion was a very well-written and well-produced episode. I myself have never been to England but Homer getting in trouble with the Queen was hilarious, and maybe Tony Blair wasn't the best guest star but I thought he was needed. Bottom line is dont listen to all the critisim this episode gets because its wrong. Watch this episode and you be the judge.moreless
  • If you're looking for another exciting travelogue episode with lots of plot and adventure...dont bother with this one. It's just 21 minutes of Homer being stupid in another country.

    I was really dissappointed with this episode upon first viewing. The episode's official summary said that the family goes to England to find Grandpa's lost love from WW2.

    However when the family arrives in England, the episode becomes anything but a story about finding Grandpa's lost love...in fact the Simpsons dump him in the hotel room and the rest of the episode is nothing but American stabs at Britain. There's ZERO count them ZERO plot in this episode.

    These Homer in another country gags get kind of old and this one was just overkill for me. Homer does something stupid in another country and gets in trouble for it. It's been done before and better might I add.

    Perhaps all of this was intentional by the writers. Perhaps they meant to do a travelogue episode that's all gags, no plot, and perhaps a satirical stab at Homer's constant stupid acts in foreign countries. I failed to get the joke if this was the case. Guess I will have to wait for the DVD to come out to see what the writers were really thinking when they wrote this one.

    For better "Homer being dumb in another country" episodes watch "Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo" (Japan) and "Blame It On Lisa" (Brazil) instead.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

Jane Leeves

Jane Leeves


Guest Star

Evan Marriott

Evan Marriott


Guest Star

Ian McKellen

Ian McKellen


Guest Star

Tress MacNeille

Tress MacNeille

Agnes Skinner, Brandine Del Roy, Dolph and others

Recurring Role

Pamela Hayden

Pamela Hayden

Milhouse Van Houten, Rod Flanders, Jimbo Jones, and others

Recurring Role

Karl Wiedergott

Karl Wiedergott

Additional Voices

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Elizabeth II doesn't have the power to send someone to death since the United Kingdom had outlaw the punishment starting in 1969 and was for all crimes in 1998.

    • Mr. Burns has been said to be around 100 something years old but in this episode, the ATM was his age and he typed in 4 digits.

  • QUOTES (24)

    • Smithers: Sir, I've spotted you over a hundred thousand dollars this year. Couldn't you carry your own money?
      Mr. Burns: Money is for the poor!

    • Marge: That was very sweet of the Queen, letting you go in exchange for taking Madonna back to America.

    • Snake: Um, does the bill have bank teller blood on it?
      Lisa: No, it doesn't.
      Snake: I'm sorry I wasted your time.

    • (on a power line pole that's about to fall down)
      Bart: Uh oh…
      Homer: You know the drill; try to land on my back fat.

    • Homer: Well Marge, you gotta admit, I've been on my best behavior this trip.
      Marge: You punched out three people on the street.
      Homer: That was over soccer results. Can you believe they gave Giggs a yellow card in the box?!
      Marge: Do you understand any part of what you just said?
      Homer: I understood the word 'gave'… unless it means something else in this country!

    • Prison Tour Guide: In this cell sits Homer Simpson, the most villainous blaggard to be held in this tower since Edward, the puppy eater.

    • Homer: Oh Marge, I am so sorry. I should have listened to whatever it was you were saying.
      Marge: It's partly my fault. I've been nagging you so much on this trip; you couldn't know which nags to focus on!

    • Homer: Milord, we Americans love queens, be they homecoming or dairy. This woman, however, is an imposter! Her luggage is inscribed H.R.H. which means her real name must be Henrietta R. Hippo.

    • Squeaky Voiced English Teen: Welcome to Judi Dench's Fish & Chips. Now completely free of mad fish disease.
      Homer: Fish? I dunno… I'm not really a vegetarian.
      Squeaky Voiced English Teen: Please order or Miss Dench will be furious. She'll beat us, she will.
      Judi Dench: Who are you talking to?!
      Squeaky Voiced English Teen: No one, Mum! I swear!
      Judi Dench: I'll Mum you!!
      Squeaky Voiced English Teen: AHH...OOF...OW...OH...BLIMEY!

    • Lisa: Press the gray brick in the back of the fireplace.
      Homer: Sweet freedom, here I… Owww!
      Lisa: Put out the fire first!

    • (Bart and Milhouse are playing a video game called "Hockey Dad")
      Video Game Dad 1: Your kid sucks!
      Video Game Dad 2: Bring it on!
      Hockey Game Voiceover: Hockey Dads! Commence fighting! (the video characters start fighting violently)
      Bart: Hockey Dad rules! Feel the drunken wrath of Chuck Shadowski!
      Video Game Kid: Dad, stop! It's only assault, don't make it murder!
      Bart: Ignore, ignore! (Dad 1 kills Dad 2)
      Hockey Game Voiceover: You're a big man! BIG MAN!

    • Space Band: It's Bart's moon party from outer space, with R2D2 playin' the bass.

    • Homer: Well Marge, if I die in here there's one thing I want you to remember. Don't buy any videotapes in England. They won't work with our VCR!

    • Homer: America rules! Our Beatles are way better than your precious Rolling Stones!

    • Lisa: Why did you let him be his own barrister?
      Marge: What difference could it make? He hit the friggin' Queen!

    • Homer: That's it! I'm acting the way America acts best: unilaterally!

    • Homer: We're big shot tourists from everyone's favourite country, the USA. We saved your ass in Vietnam and shared our prostitutes with Hugh Grant, so give me some free maps and none of that dry British wit.

    • Homer: Marge I'll be on my best behaviour. You have my word as a gentlemen and a lady. Now let's see, which rifle should I bring?

    • Burns: My Moolah! It's escaping my clutches!

    • Homer: (After meeting Tony Blair) Wow, I can't believe we just met Mr. Bean!

    • Ian McKellen: Please, take these free tickets to my play!
      Homer: What? What play?
      Ian McKellen: We thespians believe it's bad luck to mention the name of this particular play out loud.
      Homer: You mean 'MacBeth'?
      (A car splashes Ian McKellen.)
      Ian McKellen: Quiet, you plundering fool! You'll curse us all!
      Homer: What, by saying 'MacBeth'?
      (An anvil falls on Ian McKellen's foot.)
      Ian McKellen: OW! Stop saying it!
      Homer: Saying what?
      Ian McKellen: 'MACBETH'!! Oh, now I've said it.
      (McKellen is hit by lightning.)
      Bart: This is cool! 'MacBeth', 'MacBeth', 'MacBeth'.
      (McKellen is hit by lightning each time Bart says 'MacBeth'.)
      Marge: Bart, stop saying 'MacBeth'!
      (McKellen is hit by lightning.)
      Lisa: Mom, you said 'MacBeth'.
      (McKellen is hit by lightning.)
      Homer: Mr. 'MacBeth', I'm really sorry.
      (McKellen is hit by lightning.)
      Ian McKellen: That's quite alright. You didn't know.

    • Homer: (to Queen Elizabeth II) But we Americans are England's children! I know we don't call as often as we should, and we aren't as well behaved as our goody-two shoes brother, Canada. Who by the way has never had a girlfriend. (whispers) I'm just sayin'…

    • Homer: Yes, I've been jailed on six continents. All I have to do is kill a penguin.

    • Lisa: Look! It's J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books! You've turned a generation of kids onto reading.
      Rowling: Thank you, young muggle.
      Lisa: Can you tell me what happens at the end of the series?
      Rowling: He grows up and marries you. Is that what you want to hear?
      Lisa: Yes…

  • NOTES (6)

    • This is John Swartzwelder's last episode after working on the show for 15 years.

    • Tony Blair took time out from the war on Iraq to record this episode, a point that came up often on British television when it was recorded, screened in America and screened in Britain

    • Abbie is the second half-sibling Homer has, the first being Herb Powell from "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" and "Brother Can You Spare Two Dimes?".

    • In one scene, an excerpt from "Mars: Bringer of War" from The Planets by Gustav Holst is played. The composition was also quoted in Frank Zappa's "Invocation And Ritual Dance Of The Young Pumpkin" (from the Absolutely Free album), and various live peformances of "Call Any Vegetable." Matt Groening, the show's creator, is a huge Zappa fan.

    • Tony Blair recorded his lines for the episode April 11, 2003.

    • Blackboard Joke: None.
      Couch Gag: The family enters the living room via a Play-Doh Fun Factory® die and each member is rendered in a different color Play-Doh® at their respective place on the couch. Homer is yellow, Marge is orange, Lisa is green, Maggie is red and Bart is lavender.

  • ALLUSIONS (23)

    • The Brady Bunch
      The plot point of Bart finding a $1,000 bill and Marge telling him to advertise for its rightful owner is inspired by the 1970 episode of The Brady Bunch titled "The Treasure of Sierra Avenue".

    • Hertz Rent-a-Car
      The Simpsons rent a Mini Cooper from an "'Ertz" rent-a-car branch. This parodies the Hertz corporation.

    • The Vagina Monologues
      The the title of this episode is a pun on Eve Ensler's play, The Vagina Monologues. The word "Regina" is substituted as the Latin word for Queen.

    • Museum of Modern Art
      The Museum of Modern Bart is an obvious pun on the name of the real Museum of Modern Art located in New York.

    • Macbeth
      The famous Macbeth theater superstition is parodied when Sir Ian McKellen is repeatedly hurt after Homer keeps mentioning the name of the Shakespearean play.

    • The ceremonial-style music heard over the credits is "Rule Britannia", composed by James Thomson and Thomas Arne in 1740.

    • In the first shot of London you see dozens of nannies flying around the sky dressed like Mary Poppins as seen in the 1964 film of the same name.

    • The music from the James Bond movies can be heard when Marge and Homer eject from the London Eyes.

    • J. K. Rowling: Rowling: (sigh) He grows up and marries you. Is that what you want to hear?
      This is probably significant reference to J.K. Rowling's reaction to constantly being asked for spoilers about the end of the series. J.K. has had numerous interviews where she has stated that she has hinted that Harry has the probability of not living to see his eighteenth birthday. Also she doesn't want to spoil the series since it still has many undecided paths it could take.

    • Bart (to Burns): "Beat it Bony Curtis!"
      Bart calls Burns Bony Curtis. This is a reference to legendary actor Tony Curtis.

    • :
      The "mad fish disease" reference by the Pimple-Faced Kid (who badly offers an English accent) is a cheap pun on the real-life mad cow disease.

    • :
      Homer's draws the conclusion that Her Royal Highness' real name is Henrietta R. Hippo (thanks to the monogram on the Queen Majesty's nightbag), recalling the hippo character on the 1972-1975 children's series New Zoo Revue.

    • :
      Bart and Lisa laugh like Beavis and Butt-head during their sugar hallucination, mimicing MTV's delinquent duo.

    • :
      The sign, advertising "Urkel in 'Othello'" references a 1991 episode of the sitcom Family Matters, where clumsy nerd Urkel tries his hand at Shakesphere; in the sitcom, he had the male lead role to Laura having the female star billing in "Romeo and Juliet."

    • :
      Abbie, the woman who looks just like Homer in drag, is similar to Dana Plato dressing up like her male cousin from the Netherlands, Hans Von Drummond, in the Diff'rent Strokes episode, "The Von Drummonds."

    • National Lampoon's European Vacation
      Marge begging Homer to make their European vacation as normal as possible, but having to endure one mishap after another through his bumbling, parodies Clark Griswold ruining the family's vacation to Europe in the 1985 film National Lampoon's European Vacation.

    • :
      Homer appearing bare-chested on page 3 of The Sun references the London newspaper that everyday prints a picture of a topless woman on page 3.

    • :
      The opening couch gag (each member of OFF gets molded from the dies) pays homage to Play-Doh toys, where children used various dies to make different creations.

    • Lord Daft-Wager: I bet I can turn these scamps into...
      In George Bernard Shaw's play "Pygmalion," a linguistics teacher teaches a flower girl how to speak like a lady. Also 'Daft-Wager' is English expression for a 'silly bet'.

    • Marge: ...and a free copy of BartForum!
      The official magazine of "The Museum of Modern Bart" is a spoof of ArtForum, a publication by Artforum International Magazine, which covers the various exhibitions going on at art museums around the world.

    • :
      During the scene of the play, "The Cherry Orchard" featuring Evan Marriott, he says to a lady, "I don't have a cherry orchard." This scene is a parody of the "reality" television series "Joe Millionaire." Evan Marriott was the first poor man that tried to make single woman think he actually was the multi-millionaire the FOX network made him out to be.

    • Homer: "There's Jimmy Page, the greatest thief of American black music who ever walked the earth."
      Jimmy Page was the guitarist in a band that started in the late 1960's known as 'New Yardbirds' (later changed to Led Zeppelin). He is arguably one of the greatest (living) guitarists in the world.

    • :
      During the 'candy' sequence, Iggy Pop's "Lust For Life" plays in the background. Also, Maggie portrays the "Baby on the Ceiling." Both are references to Danny Boyle's hit 1996 film "Trainspotting."