The Simpsons

Season 1 Episode 4

There's No Disgrace Like Home

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Jan 28, 1990 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (51)

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out of 10
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  • When will I learn? The answer to life's problems aren't at the bottom of a bottle...they're on TV!

    Bart and Lisa are fighting over who loves Homer more. Homer tells them to get it out of their system now before they embarrass him at SNPP's company picnic. They head to the picnic, which is held at Mr. Burns's mansion. Upon arriving, Homer tells his kids to show him love and respect. Mr. Burns and Smithers are greeting employees. Burns fires an employee because his son makes a smart mouth comment about having to go to the picnic. Homer manages to get past meeting Mr. Burns, but as soon as they are outside, Bart and Lisa run off and Homer chases after them. Marge dumps Maggie off in the daycare and goes off to drink punch with the other employees's wives. Homer manages to catch Bart just as Smithers announces that all fathers and sons are required to participate in a sack race with Mr. Burns. Smithers gives Mr. Burns a head start, but Bart decides to go for the win. Homer stops Bart just before he crosses the finish line, allowing Mr. Burns to win. Meanwhile Marge gets totally drunk off of the punch. Soon Mr. Burns orders everyone to leave before he releases the hounds. As the Simpsons leave, they see a family that is totally happy and perfect and Homer starts wishing his family could be more like them as he drives home. The next night, the Simpsons are stuffing TV dinners into their faces while watching TV. Homer is appalled by their behavior and makes his family eat at the table. When Lisa says that all families are like theirs, Homer decides to show them other families to prove her wrong. They see a creepy happy family and a father who orders his son to get the shotgun when he hears the Simpsons in the bushes outside his house. They then go back home, but Homer, feeling depressed, goes to Moe's Tavern to drink beer. There, he finds out that the families he spied on called the cops on him and he also gets into a fight with Barney. Homer then witnesses a TV commercial for Dr. Marvin Monroe's Family Therapy Center, promising familial bliss "Or double your money back". Homer calls in for an appointment. Next day, Homer has a family meeting and tells them they need $250 for the appointment. Marge says they don't have that kind of money, but Homer decides to use the kids's college fund. They only have $88.50 in the college fund, so Homer decides to pawn the TV, against the family's wishes, for the rest of the money. At Dr. Monroe's therapy center, it is soon revealed that Homer is believed to be a stern authority figure. Dr. Monroe decides to let the Simpsons wack each other with his aggression therapy mallets, but this accomplishes nothing. Dr. Monroe decides a more drastic measure will be needed: electric shock therapy. He wires the Simpsons to electrodes. They are to shock each other until gradually they learn not to hurt each other. Soon the Simpsons start shocking each other like crazy and nearly blow out power for all of Springfield (Which Mr. Burns notes). Dr. Monroe is furious and declares that the Simpsons must go. He gives them double their money back like the commercial promised. The Simpsons are overjoyed, and Homer decides to buy a better TV with their $500.

    This episode introduces police officers Eddie and Lou (Lou is yellow in this episode instead of being black), Itchy and Scratchy, and Dr. Marvin Monroe. Smithers also becomes yellow in this episode, after being black in "Homer's Odyssey". We also get to hear Homer say "Mmm..." for the first time in the series (He says "Mmm...marshmallow" in this episode). Every one of the Simpsons but Bart is out of character in this episode (Homer is the one who cares about the family, Marge is carefree and the one who drinks at the picnic, and Lisa is as bratty as Bart), but this is forgiveable as it is one of the first episodes. In spite of that, this is the first episode of the Simpsons I would honestly give a 10 to, as it has a good plot and the electric shock therapy scene had me laughing for hours. The Simpsons continue to improve throughout their first season, and this is (In my opinion) the best of the first 5 episodes.