The Simpsons seek therapy.
Written by Al Jean and Mike Reiss
Directed by Oegg Vanzo, Kent Butterworth
Also starring: Maggie Roswell, Pamela Hayden
Premise: Shamed by the behaviour of his family at Mr Burns' annual workers' picnic, Homer enrols the Simpsons at Dr Marvin Monroe's Family Therapy Center (motto: 'family bliss or double your money back').
Features: Mr Burns, Smithers, Moe, Barney.
Couch: Homer is squeezed out on to the floor.
And introducing: Eddie and Lou, Dr Marvin Monroe, Itchy and Scratchy. (There's a guy drinking in Moe's Tavern who looks a bit like Lenny.)
- Some of the gelatin desserts at the picnic have been shaped like parts of the nuclear plant.
- The Happy Little Elves make another appearance.
- The Family Therapy Center's phone number is 1-800-555-HUGS.
Homage: Stately Burns Manor looks a lot like Kane's castle in Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941). The cry, 'One of us! One of us!' comes from the final scene of Freaks (Tod Browning, 1932).
Itchy and Scratchy in: An unnamed, very generic Tom & Jerry style cartoon. It looks like Scratchy is doing the unthinkable and preparing to savage Itchy with an axe at the end of the clip, suggesting that their roles had not been delineated at this stage of the series' production. We don't see the theme tune or even hear their names.
Notes: It's very strange to see Homer pawning the TV set in an attempt to save the family; if this episode had come later Marge would surely have taken this stance. A neat swipe at family counselling with some great set pieces; we're especially fond of the perfect version of the Simpsons and the electric-shock aversion therapy. This was the first episode shown by the BBC in the UK when we finally got round to transmitting the show.