The Simpsons

Season 2 Episode 12

The Way We Was

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Jan 31, 1991 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
293 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

When the television breaks, the kids gather around, as Homer and Marge share the story of how they met back in high school.

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  • An interesting episode.

    In the living room Homer yells at Bart and Lisa for sitting to close to the TV. The whole family is watching a Siskel and Ebert type movie review program. The two critics discuss the newest McBain action movie. A clip from the movie is shown, and in the clip, McBain, a cop, punches his sergeant, causing the sergeant to stumble backwards through a window and splash in a fountain several stories below. Suddenly, the TV goes on the fritz and the picture starts to frizzle out. Homer attempts to fix the TV by pounding the top of it with his fist, but he only makes it worse. Homer and the kids are devastated over the TV. Marge tries to console everyone by telling them that before she and Homer were married they never used to watch TV. She begins reminiscing about life with Homer before the kids; Lisa becomes interested and asks Marge to tell the story of how Homer proposed to her. In her head, Marge flashes back to about ten years ago; Homer and Marge are in Dr. Hibbert's office as he explains why Marge has been feeling sick in the morning. Marge flashes foward to the present, and decides not to tell that story, but rather the story of how her and Homer fell in love. Marge begins the story by telling the kids that she and Homer were seniors in high school, but had never even met before. Flash back to Springfield 1974, as a teenage Homer drives to school in a beat up green muscle car and sings along to The Joker by The Steve Miller Band on the radio. At school, Homer meets up with Barney and together they head into the school. The camera follows the two friends through the crowded hallways and stops on Marge, who is at her locker, talking with a friend about the inequality of woman's rights. The two of them head to class, and as they walk by the boys' bathroom, Marge sniffs the air and smells smoke. She comments that the wood shop kids must be smoking again. Inside the bathroom, Barney and Homer each smoke a cigarette, when suddenly Principal Dondalinger walks in and catches them in the act. He sentences both them to detention after school. Later, out in front of the school, a crowd gathers as Marge, with bullhorn in hand, preaches about woman's rights. And then, in an act of defiance she burns her bra. Principal Dondalinger happens upon her little demonstration, and sentences her to detention after school. In detention, Barney asks a girl to the prom and she quickly declines, repulsed at the sight of him. He and Homer discuss the struggles of finding a date for the upcoming prom, when suddenly, Marge, who has never been to detention before, enters the room. Homer is awestruck by her beauty, while Marge doesn't even notice him. She sits down in the seat next to Homer and when Barney leans over to ask her to the prom, Homer quickly covers Barney's mouth and shoves him away, exclaiming, "She's mine!"

    10 out of 10moreless
  • The story how Homer and Marge first met.

    When the TV breaks, Marge takes the opportunity to share the story of how she and Homer met with Bart and Lisa. Flashing back to 1974, we see Homer as ne'er-do-well high school student and Marge as a budding feminist. Homer becomes smitten with Marge and tries to get close to her by enlisting her as his French tutor. After several hours of verb conjugation, Marge falls for Homer too, only to become enraged when he admits that he's not even a French student and only said he was to get her to spend time with him. Marge rejects Homer's invitation to the prom and goes with Artie Ziff, a nerdy debate club colleague of hers. Artie turns out to be a terrible date and Marge realizes that it's Homer who she really wants.moreless
  • simpsons do it again

    another good ep the simpsons family tv breaks so homer and marge decided to tell how they met so it all started when homer and marge met in detension when marge got dentenion for a protest and homer just got introuble like he usully does and he sees marge is good at french and he pretends to be bad at french to get her to come over he askes her to the prom and she says yes but then he tells her he did not need french at all she hates him and goes with someone eles marty ziff and she hates it becasue marty tried to make a move on her in the car and she realizes she should of gone with homer.moreless
  • how they met

    the TV breaks, and of course the simpsons want some entertainment, so homer recounts the story of how he and marge met in high school. they meet in detention and homer instantly likes her. he tricks her into thinking he wants to learn french knowing she is good at french. he asks her to prom, and she readily agrees. but then homer ruins it letting her know he doesn't take french, and she hates him. she ends up going with artie ziff, but at the end, she realizes she should have gone with homer.

    a good episode, not classic material, but fine nonethelsss, B+moreless
  • We learned a lot about Homer and Marge!!! Great episode to say the least

    The story takes place back in 1974, the year Homer and Marge first met. They both land themselves in detention and take a seat next to each other. To impress Marge, Homer signs up for the debate team, and asks Marge to tutor him in French, just so that he can spend more time with her. Homer asks her to the prom, and she accepts, but then finds out Homers little scheme and they have an argument. Artie Ziff then asks her to the prom, and she accepts. Meanwhile, Homer thinks Marge is still going with him, not paying attention to what their argument meant. He ends up going to the prom alone. On the way home, Artie tries to make love to Marge. She demands to be taken home. On the way home, she sees Homer walking on the side of the road, alone. When she gets home she grabs her car and picks him up, realizing he was the one for her all along.moreless
Dan Castellaneta

Dan Castellaneta

Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others

Harry Shearer

Harry Shearer

Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others

Julie Kavner

Julie Kavner

Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier

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

Recurring Role

Tress MacNeille

Tress MacNeille

Agnes Skinner, Brandine Del Roy, Dolph and others

Recurring Role

Maggie Roswell

Maggie Roswell

Maude Flanders, Helen Lovejoy, Miss Hoover, and others

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (10)

    • Music from this episode
      "Close to You" by The Carpenters
      "The Joker" by The Steve Miller Band
      "Pick up the Pieces" by The Average White Band
      "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe" by Barry White
      "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" by Elton John
      "The Hustle" by Van McCoy
      "How Do You Mend a Broken Heart?" by Al Green
      "The Streak" by Ray Stevens
      "Color My World" by Chicago

    • Grandpa and Homer dined on a bucket of Shakespeare Fried Chicken.

    • This is the first episode where we see Homer smoking (he smokes cigarettes in the bathroom as a teen). He would also smoke cigars and pipes in later episodes.

    • Although they think it's the first time they met, Marge and Homer will find out that they met at a summer camp in the season 15 episode "The Way We Weren't."

    • The articles in "Ms. Magazine" are: "Why all men are bad," "Hating and Dating: Do they mix?" and "25 reasons not to shave your armpits"

    • The Larry Davis Experience (from "Some Enchanted Evening") play at the prom.

    • Mr. Seckofsky (the shop teacher) is missing a finger.

    • Homer has posters of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin

    • Marge says they were seniors in high school together, so that would mean that they are the same age. However, it has been established that Homer is 39, and Marge is 34. Is it possible that Homer got held back in school five times? He sure didn't look 23 when he was a senior. This is just one of the many weird things in the show about Homer aging, but nobody else.

    • Homer's guidance counselor's door reads M-Z, but the counselor says N-Z

  • QUOTES (24)

    • Estelle: Don't you think you deserve to earn as much as a man who does the same job?
      Marge: Not if I have to do heavy lifting or math.

    • Homer: When I see you forming the vowels and continents . . .
      Marge: Consonants.

    • (In detention.)
      Homer: So, uh, what are you in for?
      Marge: I'm a political prisoner. (Muttering) Last time I ever take a stand.
      Homer: Well, I'm in here for being me. Every day, I show up, act like me, and they slap me in here.

    • (At debate team practice, Homer and Artie Ziff hold a debate.)
      Artie: Our current speed limit is an anachronism. The fatuity--
      Homer: (Reading from a dictionary.) "Ignoramus."
      Artie: --Will you shut up?
      Homer: Wait a minute. That word you keep calling me?
      Artie: Ignoramus?
      Homer: Ignoramus! It means I'm stupid, doesn't it?
      Artie: There is a difference between ignorance and stupidity.
      Homer: Not to me, there isn't, you--
      Mrs. Bloominstein: Homer?
      Homer: --ignoramus!
      Artie: You're the ignoramus.
      Homer: No, you are!
      Mrs. Bloominstein: Homer, would you like to present your rebuttal?
      Homer: With pleasure. (Everyone gasps as Homer moons the class.)

    • (Principal Dondelinger catches Homer and Barney smoking in the bathroom.)
      Dondelinger: Well, well, well. If it isn't Homer Simpson and Barney Gumble, Springfield's answer to "Cheech and Chong." Allow me, gentlemen. (Grabs their cigarettes and tosses them in the toilet.) You just bought yourselves three days of detention. You know where and when.
      Homer and Barney: (In unison.) Three o'clock, old building, room 106.

    • Waiter: (to Homer) Steak or chicken?
      Homer: One of each, please.
      Barney: (running naked) Coming through!
      Homer: Barney!!!

    • Barney: Hi, Estelle, will you go to the prom with me?
      Estelle: I wouldn't go to the prom with you if you were Elliot Gould.
      Barney: Oh shot down again.

    • Homer: (to the kids) Do you two have to sit so close to the TV? Back up or it'll hurt your eyes.
      Bart: Oh, it will not.
      Homer: (Holding his fist up) Oh, yes, it will.

    • Grampa: What's the matter, boy?
      Homer: Nothing.
      Grampa: You haven't said boo all night and usually I have to wrestle the bucket out of your greasy mitts.
      Homer: Dad, I'm in love.
      Grandpa: Uh-oh. Why don't you grab yourself a beer, boy.
      Homer: But, Dad, I don't drink.
      Grandpa: Cut the crap! (Imitating Homer) I just collect the cans, Daddy! (Normal) Now, grab yourself a beer and get me one, too.

    • Marge: When I got home I realized who I should have gone to the prom with.
      Homer: Who? (Realizing) Oh.
      Marge: My prom date.
      Homer: Marge, pour vous.
      Marge: Why so glum?
      Homer: I've got a problem. As soon as you stop this car, I'm gonna hug you, and kiss you, and then I'll never be able to let you go! (Fade back to the present) And I never have...

    • Marge: (Pinching her cheeks) Couldn't we just use rouge for this?
      Mrs. Bouvier: Ladies pinch. Whores use rouge.

    • Homer: You tutor? And anyone can be tooted?

    • Guidance Counselor: Do you have any plans for after graduation?
      Young Homer: Me? I'm gonna drink a lot of beer and stay out all night!

    • Grampa: Oh, son, don't overreach. Go for the dented car, the dead-end job, the less attractive girl. I blame myself. I should have had this talk a long time ago.

    • Young Barney: Boy, you never stop eating and you don't gain a pound.
      Young Homer: It's my metaba-ma-lism. I guess I'm just one of the lucky ones.

    • (Homer and Marge find out that they are pregnant)
      Dr. Hibbert: Well, uh, Miss Bouvier, uh, I think we've found the reason you've been throwing up in the morning. (Reaches to shake Homer's hand.) Congratulations.
      Homer: D'oh!

    • Artie: Marge, I would appreciate it if you didn't tell anybody about my busy hands, not so much for myself, but I am so respected, It would damage the town to hear it.

    • Artie Ziff: Hello classmates. Instead of voting for some athletic hero, or a pretty boy, you have elected me, your intellectual superior as your king. Good for you!

    • Teacher: Simpson! Be quiet!
      Homer: I haven't seen you in school before...
      Teacher: Okay Simpson! You just brought yourself another day of detention!
      Homer: Maybe we should get together some time
      Teacher: Two days!
      Marge: I'm sorry, I don't even know your name!
      Homer: I'm Homer
      Teacher: Three days!
      Homer: Jay
      Teacher: Four days!
      Homer: Simpson
      Teacher: Five days!
      Homer: It was worth it!
      Teacher: Six days... Okay Simpson, to the back of the room!

    • Barney: Hey Homer! You're late for English!
      Homer: Pff! English, who needs that? I'm never going to England! Come on. Let's go smoke.

    • Bart: Hey everybody, If you look real close, you can kinda make him out!
      Homer: Hey yeah… yeah! I think I can!
      Marge: I think this is sick… they're staring at a dot!
      Homer: She's right! She's right! Oh I miss TV, dear God! Just give me one channel.

    • (Picture on television goes haywire)
      Bart: Hey, what gives?
      Lisa: Dad! Do something!
      Homer: Alright, alright. Time for Doctor TV to perform a little surgery! (Bangs on the TV and the picture gets worse.)
      Bart: Looks like you lost the patient, Doc.

    • (Teenage Homer imagines working at the nuclear power plant.)
      Homer: Me in a nuclear power plant? (Laughs) Kaboom!

    • Barney: Wanna go to the prom with me?
      Kim: Good God! No!
      Barney: Well put.

  • NOTES (3)

    • First Appearance: Artie Ziff, Principal Dondelinger and Rainer Wolfcastle (playing McBain)

    • According to Matt Groening in the Season Two DVD commentary, Lovitz departing line was supposed to be "Goodnight. I'm Artie Ziff!" But short on time, the editors shortened it to just "Goodnight!"

    • Blackboard Joke: I will not get very far with this attitude.
      Couch Gag: The family sits on the couch and it falls through the floor.


    • The Way We Were
      The title of this episode is a take on the title of the 1973 film The Way We Were starring Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand.

    • Norman Rockwell
      The look of Marge looking at herself in her prom dress in the mirror is taken from a famous cover drawn by Norman Rockwell.

    • Siskel & Ebert & the Movies
      The show the family is watching in the first scene is a parody of the famous critics show Siskel & Ebert & the Movies.

    • Happy Days
      The makeout area Marge and Artie go to is called "Inspiration Point", which is taken right out of Happy Days.