A disastrous dinner gives Homer food for thought.
Written by Steve Tompkins
Directed by Steven Dean Moore
Also starring: Pamela Hayden, Tress MacNeille, Maggie Roswell
Premise: After a disastrous dinner party at the Simpsons, the van Houtens decide to divorce. This makes Homer consider the state of his own marriage and whether he treats Marge with the respect she deserves.
Features: Otto, Rev. Lovejoy, Helen Lovejoy, Dr Hibbert, Kirk van Houten, Luanne van Houten, Milhouse, the Flanderses, Nelson, Kearney, Patty and Selma, Grampa, Jackie Bouvier.
Couch: Bart is flickering like a badly tuned portable TV.
- Ned Flanders likes Woody Allen movies (but can't stand Woody Allen himself) while Homer reads Hot Lotto Picks Weekly.
- Homer describes the Love Is ... newspaper cartoon as 'a comic strip about two naked eight-year-olds who aren't married'.
- Homer has taken to wearing half-moon spectacles to read.
Homage: The van Houtens' bitter destruction of each other's possessions recalls War of the Roses (Danny DeVito, 1989).
Look out for: Otto leaving The Pot Palace - 'This is flagrant false advertising.' The meatball on the carpet (why is Lisa eating meatballs if she's a vegetarian?) and Homer's attempts at soothing sea sounds to send Marge to sleep.
Notes: More drama than comedy, and very honest in its dealings with the van Houtens' divorce and its effects on Milhouse. Subsequent episodes do not suggest that the van Houtens have reconciled.