Marge goes a bit Mary Whitehouse.
Written by John Swartzwelder
Directed by Jim Reardon
Additional cast: Pamela Hayden, Maggie Roswell
Special guest voice: Alex Rocco (as Roger Myers)
Premise: After watching an Itchy and Scratchy cartoon, Maggie strikes Homer with a mallet. Horrified, Marge vows to put a stop to violence on children's television. But when the ball of censorship starts to roll, where will it all end?
Features: Krusty, Kent Brockman, the Flanders.
Couch: The Simpsons rush in - but the sofa's not there.
Homage: The idyllic scene of happy children at play in a world without TV violence recalls the Beethoven's 6th Symphony sequence from Walt Disney's Fantasia (1940). Best of all, and one of the first and best detailed movie spoofs in the series, is Maggie's attack on Homer - complete with rended tablecloth, gory red paint and eyeball close-up, which is lifted directly from Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960).
Itchy and Scratchy in: Hold That Feline, Kitchen Cut Ups, and the sanitised, Marge-approved Porch Pals.
Look out for: The Marge-approved version of Itchy and Scratchy: 'They love, they share...'
Notes: Homer's doomed attempt to build a spice rack is only the start of another great episode, which works as a superb debate about television violence and politically inspired censorship. The ending is especially poignant, as the pedagogues of Springfield swoop on Michelangelo's David as an example of filth and degradation.