Homer Simpson, This Is Your Wife
"Homer Simpson, This is Your Wife" is an episode of The Simpsons, that aired on 26 March 2006. It is the fifteenth episode of the show's seventeenth season. It is the first ever episode written entirely by a guest star, Ricky Gervais.
Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.
Lenny invites practically everyone in town to a party at his flat, where he tells them that he has a big surprise. He reveals that he bought a brand new plasma screen TV, and Homer immediately falls in love with its high-definition picture. He begins to spend all his time at Lenny's house, watching TV. Marge sends over the kids to bring him back, but they too get enthralled by the TV. Eventually, Lenny kicks him out. When he gets back home, he just doesn't enjoy watching his usual TV anymore. Marge tells him that she entered them into a contest where the prize is a plasma screen TV. Later, they get a call, and they learn that they won third place as opposed to first ("Um... no. No one wins that."), and the prize is a trip to the Fox Studio Network (no expenses paid). While there, Homer learns of a reality show called "Mother Flippers" (similar to Wife Swap and Trading Spouses), and the grand prize just happens to be enough money to buy a new plasma screen TV. Marge agrees, although with reluctance, and they enter.
When they get back to Springfield, the show begins. Marge is traded to a nice, easy going man named Charles Heathbar and his perfect son, while Homer gets Charles' very strict wife, Verity. Charles seems to be the classic hen-pecked husband, and is surprised to see that Marge is extremely understanding and nice. Marge enjoys her time with Charles, while he begins to develop a crush on her. Meanwhile, Homer, Bart, and Lisa are having troubles with Verity, who continues to discipline them and object to everything they do. She makes homework out of "Itchy and Scratchy" for Bart and asks Homer for his "synopsis" of CSI: Miami.
Back at Charles' house, he writes a love song for Marge (with guitar accompaniment), who seems completely oblivious to him until he comes out and tells her that he's in love with her. She explains to him that she loves Homer, and she tells him that he should tell his wife how he feels. He agrees, and decides to take her back to Homer and then get rid of Verity. When they get back to Springfield, Homer and the kids are ecstatic to see Marge. However, Verity has decided to leave him first, and she has already found a new partner: Patty. Apparently, they both hate Homer equally. Homer threatens to vote No on Proposition 38 (for Gay adoption), but a little arm-twisting by Patty brings him in line.
In the end, Homer plays on the guitar, serenading his true love, his new Plasma TV (and Marge, too).
- According to various articles, Gervais is more than welcome to write or guest star in another episode.
- In a December 2004 BBC article, Gervais called writing The Simpsons episode "the most intimidating project of my career", describing The Simpsons as "the greatest TV show of all time."
- This episode featured a live-action opening sequence. The live-action couch gag was not shown on some channels in Canada with the original airing for unspecified reasons. This was taken directly from a Sky One promotion, with the only alteration (in right-driving countries) being a mirrored flip of the scene where Marge and Maggie are driving the car, to show Marge
- A theatrical version of The Phantom of the Opera is playing on Lenny's plasma TV during his party.
- With Dan Castellaneta, this is the second time a member of the main cast of The Simpsons has guest-starred as themselves (the first was Harry Shearer as part of Spinal Tap in "The Otto Show"). In this episode he was simply billed as a "star of The Tracey Ullman Show" while in season Thirteen's "I Am Furious Yellow" he appeared to voice the character of Angry Dad (although he was not referred to by name in that episode).
- The similarities between Trading Spouses and Wife Swap (ABC) are satirically addressed. Interestingly, Wife Swap had received a similar skewering by its network fellow Hope and Faith a season earlier.
- This episode was preceded by Ricky commentating about the episode on Sky One, and how Channel 4 would not get it for another three years (until 2009). Sky One issued an apology upon the return from commercial break during the episode acknowledging that this claim was inaccurate. Channel 4 shows new episodes four years after Sky One.
- Possibly due to the episode's storyline, Sky's high-definition service SkyHD was promoted twice during the first UK transmission, before the episode started and before the 'apology' mentioned above. The first advert in the commercial break was also for a high-definition television. Private Eye magazine in particular criticised this as an example of product placement on the part of Sky, and speculated as to how much Gervais was paid for writing it into the storyline.
- This episode was promoted heavily in the UK, even making the cover of the Radio Times. It holds the record for the highest rated Simpsons episode ever shown on Sky One, getting 2.301 million viewers, beating the previous record of 1.65 million set by "Skinner's Sense of Snow" in 2001.
- Despite being written by a British person, the episode is filled with references that UK audiences will not automatically be familiar with, such as Ryan Seacrest, Notre Dame's "Fighting Irish" football team, etc.
- Network Ten had not obtained the rights to air the live action opening, therefore the animated opening was used when the episode premiered in July.
- The title is a reference to the show This Is Your Life.
- Charles appears to be based on Gervais' character David Brent from The Office. He says that he is the manager of an office, and like Brent, appears to be a very inept one. Charles also tells an offensive joke to Marge and plays guitar.
- Homer collects all 40 years of The Family Circus, and then throws it in the fire.
- The shot of Charles standing in front of the fire while singing about Princess Di echoes the famous and controversial photo of her standing in a school garden with the sun behind her, revealing the outline of her legs through her skirt.
- (after Homer moons the camera)
Producer: Uhhh! We'd better pixellate those!
Cameraman: There aren't enough pixels in the world!
Producer: Yeah umm, just cover it with Ryan Seacrest's head.
- Homer: If I have enough strength, I'll take you up to the TV and show you how thin it is.
- Carl: Ain't no party like a Lenny party, 'cause a Lenny party don't stop! (looks at his watch) Oh man, I've got work tomorrow. See ya.
- Lisa: I've seen this same show on a different network.
Fox Executive: (stares at her nervously) Here, have a FOX sweatshirt.
Lisa (puts it on and looks on the back): This is an ABC sweatshirt.
Executive: And it zips up all the way! (zips up the sweatshirt, muffling Lisa's shouts)
- Lisa: I don't understand, Dad. Our family has so many flaws, why must we share them with the world?
Homer: Because we'll be on TV! And earn enough money to buy a TV! TV!
Lisa: But, Dad!
Homer: Yes, Teeveesa?
Lisa: Ergh, forget it.
- Verity: Charles hasn't satisfied me in years.
Homer: "That's how I feel about Notre Dame football.
- Patty: What brought us together is how much we hate you!
Homer: Okay then. I'll just vote "no" on Prop 38 so you can't adopt! (Patty twists Homer's arm) Ooooowwww! Kidding! I don't vote! The voting place is up the hill and I never make it! (Patty twists Homer's arm harder)
- Sideshow Mel: I've never seen a picture so highly-defined!
- Brandine: Can you believe it, Cletus? Another party and we can't go.
Cletus: Yeah, just 'cause we's afraid to use an uppity-box.
- Tour Guide: Look, there's Dan Castellaneta from The Tracey Ullman Show.
Homer: (leaning out of the tour guide tram) Hey funny man! Say something funny!
Dan Castellaneta: Please don't lean out of the tram sir, you might get hurt.
Homer: (childish imitating Castelleneta) Oh! Don't lean out of the tram! (he then gets hit by a gold statue of Mischa Barton)
- Homer: Marge, thank God you're home! She made me spend time with the kids! And not just TV time. Talking time!
- Charles: You're leaving me for him?
Homer: So it would appear. However, Cousin It there was born a woman.
- lyrics to "Picture in Picture" sung by Homer:
You make me laugh, you make me cry
Without you I'd just want to die
For the rest of my life you'll be a fixture
Now let me enjoy your picture in picture.
- lyrics to "Lady Blue" sung by Charles:
Lady when you came to me, I was feeling blue
Blue just like your hair, you see
Blue just like the moon
But only when the moon is blue
And not when it is cream
And now that you are here with me
I am in a dream
(In normal voice)Oh, yeah, Marge, your dreams can come true.
Lady, when you go away
I feel like I could die
Not like dye like your hair is dyed
But die like Lady Di
And not like Di like her name is Di
But die like when she died
But lady just like Lady Di
Be my princess tonight
But don't die
- 1st Airdate: Sunday 26 March 2006 (Live Action)
- 2nd Airdate: Sunday, 21 May 2006 (Different Chalkboard and Couch Gag)
- 1st Airdate: Sunday, 23 April 2006
- 2nd Airdate: Friday, 28 April 2006 (Encore Screening)
- 3rd Airdate: Saturday, 8 July 2006
- 4th Airdate: Monday, 4 August 2006
- 1st Airdate: Tuesday 18 July 2006 (Different Chalkboard and Couch Gag)