The Simpsons

Season 14 Episode 9

The Strong Arms of the Ma

1
Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Feb 02, 2003 on FOX
7.5
out of 10
User Rating
115 votes
9

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
The Strong Arms of the Ma
AIRED:
Marge gets mugged outside the Kwik-E-Mart and she starts feeling vulnerable and becomes scared to leave the house. Dr. Hibbert diagnoses her with agoraphobia. The family tries to help her get back out of the house, but their efforts drive into living in the basement. In the basement she finds their unused weight set and she begins working out. Two weeks later she is stronger than she ever was and realizes that she can leave the house. In fact while celebrating her release from her fears, she confronts and beats the crap out of her mugger. While out working out, Marge runs into Ruth Powers, the neighbor she once went on the lam with. Ruth tells her about how steroids can help her to get bigger. Marge starts taking the supplements and gets into a women's bodybuilding competition. She takes 2nd place, which only entices her to do better next time. At Moe's she tears the place apart when she suffers from steroid rage. Homer makes her realize that she has become everything that she can't stand and she destroys the weight set.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Marge finally stand up for herself

    9.5
    This is my 6th fave episode of the Simpsons.I love the way Marge stood up for herself to the robber but why was she hiding in the basement.Really cool idea and I will love the simpsons forever
  • mediocre

    5.0
    what i liked- the eye on springfield opening, marge getting revenge on the robber, the tetris parody, marge pepper-spraying ralph. that's about it. this episode was kind of random. i mean, marge on steroids is a weird plot description, but the episode itself is somehow weirder. The way she acts throughout the episode is not really how one would think she's act, but that's probably because one wouldn't think she would do steroids. C- or so as my final grademoreless
  • After being attacked, Marge compensates by building up her body.

    9.0
    The Simpson family goes to Rainier Wolfcastle's Bankruptcy Garage Sale, where everything that he owns is up for sale at throwaway prices. Homer asks Rainier if he has anything that will go up in value when he dies and is shown his old weight-lifting set, complete with dumbbells and bench press. Homer takes it and packs everything in the car in the style of a Tetris game. The car ends up being so overpacked that Homer ends up being carried home by Rainier Wolfcastle in an adult sized baby harness built for an adult. On the way home, Marge and the kids smell something awful. They pinpoint the source to Maggie. Marge quickly pulls into the Kwik-E-Mart, and Apu is reluctant about letting Marge use the restroom, but when he smells Maggie, he allows it. Later, as Marge comes out with a much sweeter-smelling Maggie, a shady character in a Goofy hat accosts her and threatens her with a gun. Finding only diapers in Marge's purse, he grabs Marge's pearl necklace and takes off. Marge, stunned, walks to her car in a daze and breaks down sobbing at the wheel in front of her kids. The next day, they inform the cops and Chief Wiggum declares he will get on it right away. Later, as Marge is about to leave the house, Homer gives her some pepper spray and some tips on how to handle an attacker. She pulls up to the Kwik-E-Mart, but she is scared when Ralph greets her. She pepper-sprays him, and feeling guilty, she drives back home where it's safe. When she reaches home, Bart tells her she is parked over the mailman. Marge is a nervous wreck and cannot bring herself to cross the threshold of her house. Homer and the kids try their level best to encourage her to go outside, but to no avail. Finally, she moves into the basement. There, feeling a bit safer, she prepares breakfast for the family and sets up a bed for herself. One day, when she is alone at home, feeling bored but still afraid to venture outside, she eyes Rainier Wolfcastle's weight-lifting set and decides to use it to pass the time. In two weeks, she builds herself up and even gets a well-defined washboard stomach (much to Homer's delight). Suddenly, she dashes out to the garden to get some lemons. Realising that she is not afraid anymore, she starts running around town in happiness. Suddenly, she runs into her mugger, who tries to assault her again. But this time, she beats him so intensely he is left a bloody mess. The cops arrive and arrest the crook. Marge, pumped after catching the crook, starts exercising even more (to the theme from Rocky). One day, as she jogs by an open-air gym at the beach, an accurate portrayal of Muscle Beach in Venice, California, she runs into Ruth Powers, her old neighbor from "New Kid on the Block" and "Marge on the Lam". Ruth, pretty buffed herself, tells Marge that she owes it all to steroids. She talks Marge into using them, attacking her inability to stop trying to be stronger, and also attacking her wish not to be weak and helpless, she also advises Marge to enter a women's bodybuilding contest. Marge, using the steroids, exercises harder than ever, becoming heavily musculed. At the contest, despite her massive training, she wins second prize. This puts Marge in a bad mood. Later that night, at Moe's, Homer and a whole lot of other male Springfieldians are celebrating, Homer tries to calm the angry Marge down. Due to the steroids and other drugs, she has become extremely short-tempered and powerful, a recipe for disaster. After Homer goes to the bathroom, she gets mad at Moe for saying she isn't attractive anymore and proceeds to beat up everyone at the bar. Finally, when Homer comes out and sees the "Muscle Marge", he pleads with her to look inside her and find the sweet, loving Marge and to lay off the steroids. Marge, horrified with what she has done, apologizes and leaves with Homer. Moe, in order to cover the costs of repairing his bar, sets fire to it; however, Carl points out that he has not insured the place yet. Later, at the Simpson house, Marge burns the weight set in the furnace (despite being metal) as the show ends. Homer asks if Marge is ready for a "real workout" which turns out to be a request to wax the car.moreless
  • Marge uses steroids.

    9.0
    The family attends Rainier Wolfcastle's bankruptcy sale and purchase a weight bench. Homer makes his own way home as there is no room for him in the car. Marge gets mugged in an alley on the way home, which results in a fear of leaving the house. This soon escalates to her living in the basement. She discovers the weight bench and begins to work out. Eventually she grows stronger to the point where she can protect herself, so she leaves the house and meets Ruth Powers at a women's bodybulding clinic. Ruth introduces Marge to steroids, but she marginally misses out on winning a bodybuilding contest. She puts this down to being too feminine. She starts a fight at Moe's Tavern but Homer makes her realize steroids have turned her into everything she stood against. The weight bench is burnt and things return to normal. Really imformative on the effects of steroids. Marge was very creppy tho as a roided up freak. Give it a watch!moreless
  • Shows the effects of steroids on a person...

    8.8
    When Marge gets mugged, she becomes agoraphobic and can't leave the safety of her home. She holes up in the basement and starts working out on a weight set. She gets stronger and stronger, enough so that she's able to re-enter the world and beat up the man who robbed her, but she takes it too far and becomes a steroid-crazed bully as she beefs up for the "Iron Maiden Fitness Pageant." When Homer appeals to her to calm down, she finally relents and goes back to being the old Marge. Good episode show's the effects of steroids, and what they can do to you.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

Pamela Reed

Pamela Reed

Ruth Powers

Special 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

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (9)

    • Otto thinks that a muscular Marge lifting the bus is just a hallucination caused by the pot he's smoking. Being a regular drug user, Otto should know that pot doesn't cause hallucinations.

    • When Marge came out of the restroom there was writing on the wall that said "El Barto."

    • The beginning of this episode reuses old animation from "Flaming Moe's" during the "Eye on Springfield" opening. That footage was 11 years old by then!

    • Before Marge picks up the jukebox to slam it into other people in Moe's Tavern it wasn't playing anything, but when she went over to it, it started playing music.

    • Regarding Marge not being able to whup the mugger in her first confrontation like she did Snake, let's not forget he was armed with a gun. I believe Snake only had a knife so Marge wouldn't have been as scared.

    • When the family is eating dinner at the Air Hockey table, there are no goals on the ends of the table (where Lisa and Homer are sitting), except when there's a close up on Lisa. There is no goal when there's a close-up of Homer talking about "Cheers".

    • Ruth was in prison because of what happened in the episode "Marge on the Lam"

    • Homer packs lots of boxes in thecar, but when Marge drives the car, the boxes disapear.

    • When the lady smashed the piano saying "support the arts" her lips don't move.

  • QUOTES (23)

    • (Homer has set up a 'play' in the house to look just like the Kwik-E Mart to help Marge get over her agoraphobia. All is fine until Milhouse announces he is a robber and Marge screams and runs down to the basement).
      Homer: Marge?
      Marge: I'm gonna sleep down here tonight.
      (Homer goes back to the living room)
      Homer: Listen kids, your mom is going to be living in the basement. But, with our love, she'll get better soon.
      Bart: (in Apu's accent) What if she doesn't?
      Homer: Then we'll have to smoke her out!

    • (Marge has asked Apu to let her use his bathroom to change Maggie. He brings her around the side of the Kwik-E Mart to a door marked 'High Voltage')

      Apu: Don't worry, that sign is just a rouse... like all high voltage signs.

    • Marge: I do miss being a lady.
      Homer: And I miss being your knight in flabby armor.

    • Bart: Why didn't Mom make our lunches?
      Homer: Your mom has a lot of stuff to shave.

    • (Marge talks to her family on a walkie-talkie while they're at church)
      Marge: Amen. Over.
      Bart: Breaker, breaker, Bart man to shut-in, the big guy's asleep, please advise. Over.
      Marge: Whack him with the hymnal. Over.

    • Ruth Powers: Steroids aren't drugs, they occur naturally in the body, like sweat, or tumors!

    • Marge: What to do now? Too crazy to go outside, not crazy enough to have imaginary friends.

    • Bart: Ew! Mom, I think Maggie fudged her Huggies!
      Marge: Bart, don't say it like that, you'll hurt her feelings. (she sniffs) Geez, Louise! How did you turn cinnamon applesauce into THAT?!

    • Bart: There is no way all this junk is gonna fit in that car.
      Homer: Now, don't worry. This is what all those hours of playing Tetris were for.
      (Homer crams all the items and his family into the car as video game music plays.)
      Homer: Perfect!
      Marge: But there's no room for you.
      Homer: D'oh!
      ("Game Over" sound effect plays.)

    • Moe: Uhhh, listen Marge. Ummm how can I put this delicately?!? I don't got enough booze in this place to make you look good.
      Marge: (breaks jar of pickled eggs and holds shattered glass to Moe in extremely threatening manner): Maybe death will stop your yammering!!!

    • (Marge hits Disco Stu with a record player)
      Disco Stu: Disco Stu should have Disco Ducked.

    • (At the Simpsons' "Kwik-E-Mart")
      Lisa: I'm a magazine rack!
      Homer: Look, I'm the first to admit it, I don't write good parts for women.

    • Moe (after Marge leaves): Well, there's only one way to recoup my losses.
      (Gasses up bar and lights it on fire)
      Carl: Whoa, Moe, wait a minute. Don't you have to buy insurance first?
      Moe: Aw, crap.

    • Bart: Aye carumba! I'm off women forever.

    • Homer: Ready for a real work out, Marge?
      Marge: Mmm hmm.
      Homer: Good. Can you wax the car?
      (Marge hurting Homer)
      Marge: Ow, ow, ow! Kidding, I'm kidding!

    • Homer: (solemnly) It's all my fault my wife got mugged.
      Chief Wiggum: Well, there you have it. Case closed.

    • Otto: Man, what am I smokin'? Oh, yeah. Pot.

    • Nelson: Ha-ha! Your mom changed!

    • Marge: I didn't sacrifice my period for second place!!!
      Lenny: Heh heh. I hear that!

    • Ralph: (coughing up mace) Even my boogers are spicy!

    • Body building competition marquee: WOMEN'S BODY BUILDING FINALS -- FIRST TWO ROWS MAY GET OILY.

    • Church Marquee: No outside eucharist.

    • Homer: Do you think you could give me a lift home?
      Wolfcastle: Sure. I'll carry you in this giant Snugli. I used it to carry Rob Schneider in the movie 'My Baby is an Ugly Man.'
      Homer: Ahhh…your heartbeat is so soothing…
      Wolfcastle: Shhhh…time for sleep, little fatso.

  • NOTES (7)

    • The lemon tree from "Lemon Of Troy" now grows in the Simpsons' backyard.

    • This is the fourth episode of the series (the scene where Marge starts taking steroids) that uses a music tune from Popeye. The others were "Brother's Little Helper" (when Bart sings his Ritalin song at the end), "Jaws Wired Shut" (the scene where Homer rescues Marge from disaster at the demolition derby), and "The Old Man and the Key" (when Grandpa's Viagra kicks in when he's about to make out on his date).

    • Pamela Reed returned as the voice of Ruth Powers, who last appeared ten years ago in "Marge on the Lam," the "Thelma and Louise" spoof.

    • This is the Simpson's 300th aired episode. The 100th being "Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baadasssss Song," and the 200th was "Trash of the Titans."

    • Blackboard Joke: The school does not need a "regime change".
      Couch Gag: The family enters the living room but instead of the couch there is a standup with a picture of the family sitting on the couch, with holes where their faces should be. The family members go behind the standup and stick their faces through the holes: Lisa becomes the face for Homer, Homer becomes Marge, Maggie becomes Lisa, Bart becomes Maggie and Marge becomes Bart.

    • When it shows Marge's anti-drug bumper stickers, her licence plate reads EABF04, the production code of this episode.

    • The stone head in Marge's basement room was the Olmec head given to the family by Mr. Burns in the episode "Blood Feud."

  • ALLUSIONS (10)

    • The man who mugged Marge was wearing a hat closely resembling Goofy, the popular Disney character.

    • Marge drinks the Roids in the style of Popeye when he ate spinach. The musical notes played during it are similar to the ones played when Popeye would eat it too.

    • The name of the restaurant that Marge and Ruth are eating in is called Let's Hear It For The Soy. This is an allusion to the "Let's Hear It For The Boy" by Deniece Williams.

    • :
      The music played after Marge destroys Moe's tavern is from Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings".

    • Lenny: Hey look, a cyborg hand!
      The cyborg hand is similar to the one seen in the 1991 film Terminator 2: Judgment Day starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. This is a reference to the similarity between Rainier Wolfcastle's character and that of Schwarzenegger.

    • :
      When Marge beats up the guy that robbed her earlier in the episode, it was just like when Sonny beats up his brother-in-law in the 1972 film, "The Godfather."

    • :
      Marge drinking the steroids a la Popeye eating his spinach, hence the "Popeye" musical cues.

    • :
      The theme that was playing when Homer fitted everything into the car was the theme of the 1985 Russian hit video game 'Tetris'. Also, Homer fitted the objects as shapes from the game.

    • :
      The scene where the mailman breaks his glasses is a spoof of "Time Enough at Last," a classic Twilight Zone episode, starring Burgess Meredith.

    • :
      At the end of the episode, just before the usual end theme music, the first few bars of the theme from the 1976 film "Rocky" are played.

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