385. Ice Cream of Margie (with the Light Blue Hair)

(originally aired November 26, 2006)
Homer gets a new job, Marge tries to make something of herself, Homer fucks that thing up, and Marge inexplicably forgives him at the end… my lord, how unbelievably boring. Hasn’t this ground been covered enough? How many times are these two going to be at odds with each other? Or rather, Marge at odds with Homer, and him begging and whining for forgiveness. By reasons that are dumb and pointless, Homer becomes an ice cream truck driver, because I guess they make a good enough salary to support a five-person family. Meanwhile Marge is depressed that she hasn’t done anything with her life, so what’s going to be her inspiration? The discarded Popsicle sticks from her husband, which she uses to make statues of her family and the townspeople. How boring. Remember her Ringo Starr paintings, how he acted as her teenage muse? What does she care about Drederick Tatum or the Capital City Goofball enough to make statues of them? It’s a different shade of it, but this is more of the “everybody knows everybody” motif of later years.

So how does Homer fuck up? He guns it in his truck to make it to her big art show on their lawn, but ends up out of control and smashes through every single sculpture, effectively destroying what must have been hundreds of hours of hard work. At least he was acting mindlessly reckless for a good cause… right? It’s hard to spy any sort of silver lining with this shit. Half of act three is Homer standing outside Marge’s door, asking her to forgive him, going through the usual bullshit. It’s just waiting for the rudimentary beats and how they’re going to be slightly different. Usually it’s Homer doing something stupid that Marge thinks is sweet and taking him back. But this time, he doesn’t have to do anything at all. Marge erects a humungous Popsicle stick tribute to her husband (“My sweet perfectly imperfect you!”) How sweet. Maybe a little bit. Not really. I guess this isn’t as aggressively awful as other episodes of this ilk, but it’s every bit as innocuous. Like honestly, who cares about anything happening in these episodes?

Tidbits and Quotes
– Marge scolds Bart for wasting food (“You should be ashamed! Your father works very hard to put lobsters on our table!”) There’s a lot of fluctuation in terms of characters’ attitudes and beliefs about things, and one seems to be Marge’s view on her husband. Most episodes she’s well aware of what a lazy jackass he is, but then there are moments like this where she seems unbelievably naive. Here, her line is just a set-up to a lame bit of Homer goofing off in the break room playing some elaborate game with the guys. Then he imagines Mr. Burns is an ice cream cone and licks him in a disturbing scene. Then Burns chastises the others for not having enough team spirit… what.
– “Remember that crappy ice cream truck I bought?” “How could we forget? Mom says now we can’t afford to go to the orthodontist.” Remember when Homer’s top priority was to take care of his family? Now tricking out his ice cream truck is more important than his children’s health.
– All that the Homer getting dressed sequence tells me is that the writers have seen Da Ali G Show. I just don’t understand how this is a parody, they’re just repeating, beat for beat, the intro to the show. Sure there are added jokes, like him needing two belts and his pants ripping, but they have nothing to do with commenting on the source material, and nothing to do with the episode itself. It’s as worthless as a Family Guy cut-away “gag.”
– Last episode Homer used his fairy voice to mock Moe for being a poet. Here, he mocks a passed out lactose intolerant kid after he forced him to eat ice cream (“Oooh, you wear a bracelet! Who’s your boyfriend?”) More aggravating gay “jokes.”
– More pathetic Moe as he weeps at the sight of his wooden doppelganger (“Tell me all your little wooden dreams! You’re not alone anymore, no you ain’t!”) I just don’t find this funny.
– “Honey, I brought you more sticks! This is the most fun I’ve ever had giving you wood!” Groan. I bet this joke came up very early in the writing of this show, and somehow it managed to stay in.
– The Rich Texan is so boring and predictable. How many jokes can you make involving him shooting his guns in the air? It’s like Nelson’s “Haw-haw!” or any other character’s schtick; they grew stale years ago, but the show has managed to milk the same tired gags for over twenty years rather than come up with something new.
– The only thing I laughed at was Homer the ice cream man’s money pot: a divorced dad’s visitation picnic (“Attention, losers! This is your chance to buy your children some frozen love!” “I’m not gonna fall for such a cheap stunt!” “Mom would!” “Hey! Give me one of everything!”)
– Marge calls Homer out on his selfishness and storms inside the house. Then Homer yells, “Well excuse me for having enormous flaws that I don’t work on!” At some point, you can only be self-conscious of your overused tropes for so long before putting them to pasture. The writers acknowledge what a gigantic dickhead Homer has become, and yet feel the best thing they can do is comment on it and everything will be fine. Homer effectively destroys a month’s worth of his wife’s hard work, and screams at her, “I’m aware I have horrible behavioral problems that put you and our children at risk, but I refuse to do anything to better myself!” What a lovable guy.
– Oh wait, one other point where I laughed (“Homer, I wanted to show the world how I feel about you!” “The world’s not that interested!”) A shocking display of Homer actually being humble, considering how pompous and self-important he’s become these days.
– The episode opens with Marge criticizing Bart for wasting food, and ends with her mentioning she threw out what must have been thousands of gallons of ice cream to make her big sculpture. Well, it actually ends with a bizarro vision of the future where iPods rule the Earth. What the fuck…

19 thoughts on “385. Ice Cream of Margie (with the Light Blue Hair)

  1. This is the infamous episode with probably my all-time least favorite Simpsons line, “Now I see that our lega-she is really a lega-we!” Gag. Though Homer’s string of puns earlier in the episode was no better: “In “cone-clusion,” here’s the scoop: I love you.” I hate to repeat myself, but nobody talks like this in real life. It’s unnatural dialog.

    The previous episode had a recreation of J. Jonah Jameson. This time it’s a carbon copy of Oprah, called Opal. Are they even trying?

    I must admit, that despite its condescending nature, I did like Homer’s “Glad? You don’t look glad. Are you sure you know what “glad” means?”

    1. If they need a local daytime talk show why not just use Afternoon Yak again (yes it was a parody of The View but at least the name was more original) and Opal doesn’t work as Oprah’s been established in The Simpsons universe and Oprah’s even made an appearance in Springfield (on her show)

    2. I have no idea what that legashe remark is even trying to communicate, but based on the universally negative reactions it’s invoked, i have no interest in finding out.

  2. Something just occurred to me. Why does Homer have all those used Popsicle sticks in the first place? Do all his customers finish their ice lollies and then track down Homer and his truck just to give him their garbage?

    “It’s as worthless as a Family Guy cut-away “gag.””
    – To be fair to Family Guy, those cutaways are sometimes very funny vignettes, even though they have nothing to do with the rest of the episode. In fact, because plotting and characterization aren’t FG’s strong suits, those cutaways are often the comic highlights of an episode (though that may not be saying much). The all too common problem is, as you point out, they’ll frequently just recreate something beat-for-beat and forget to attempt humour.

  3. The moment I watched the scene where Marge dances and shoots guns in the air currently ranks as the most embarrassing moment of my life.

  4. Ooooh shit. This is the “lega-she/lega-we” episode???

    Ok, that settles that. This is my all-time least favorite episode of any show ever made, just on account of that one line. Who the hell writes this garbage?

  5. i love how they made a half-assed copy of the opening to “homer badman” with that fucking stupid lobster/cereal bit

    except this time lisa is apparently against bart throwing away the non-marshmallow pieces?

  6. While this episode is not great, it isn’t terrible either. I always laugh at the scene when Homer is taking pictures and sliding them under the door, and then of course his line, “MARGE! Did you change your name? Is it Kelly? KELLY!!”

  7. Remember that crappy ice cream truck I bought?” “How could we forget? Mom says now we can’t afford to go to the orthodontist.” Remember when Homer’s top priority was to take care of his family? Now tricking out his ice cream truck is more important than his children’s health.

    In ZS land “We saw this show in 2005 called Pimp My Ride so we’re going to write it into our new episode”

    1. Jarring pop culture for the sake of it
    2. Jerkass/careless Homer

  8. Last episode Homer used his fairy voice to mock Moe for being a poet. Here, he mocks a passed out lactose intolerant kid after he forced him to eat ice cream (“Oooh, you wear a bracelet! Who’s your boyfriend?”) More aggravating gay “jokes.”

    Nice just what we all need more heartless and soulless scenes that the “writers” try to pass of as funny.

    1. Not only is that a lazily homophobic joke on its own, but THEN they follow it up with Homer worriedly reading aloud the name of the doctor. Just in case anyone in the audience somehow didn’t realize it was a medical bracelet, I guess. Over-explaining your punchlines makes them funnier!

  9. It also wouldn’t be ZS without an ipod reference but don’t worry in season 20 we’ll call it mypod for no real reason but mention microsoft in the same ep. god help you when this episode comes up

  10. I can’t decide which annoys me more: the fact that they started referencing iPods every other episode all of a sudden or the fact that just two years later, they couldn’t even call them iPods anymore.

    1. I actually wonder what happened there but then again they had facebook and twitter mentioned in several episode but wait then springface and springtwit (wtf?) came about but then after facebook and twitter was mentioned again UGH!

  11. There are some nice sincere moments to be found here, but ultimately this episodes does nothing for me. I guess we should be happy to see that Homer gets fired as his driving force for becoming an ice cream truck driver instead of him just not being at work for the sake of it.

    The ending with the ipods bNow it is so damn stupid though. It’s just so random and has nothing to do with the story at all. While we did get a weird post-apocalyptic future bit in “Rosebud,” it worked because it tied into the plot. Here, it doesn’t. It’s just there.

    I don’t get the Homer clothes bit. You say its from Da Ali G show, but I have no idea what that even is. The fact that I don’t know what that is, and the clothes bit makes no sense to me, means that joke fell flat.

  12. I am surprised nobody mentioned this bit:
    Lenny: I can’t tell where Carl ends and I begin.
    Carl: See, statements like that are why people think we’re gay.

  13. I’m surprised nobody mentioned the reason Homer got the truck- he killed the original owner by making him overexert himself to make change for a hundred for a cone that was under a dollar. Instead of, oh, being nice enough to give him the money, especially considering he says RIGHT BEFORE he was barely scraping by.

    And the widowed wife simply ignores that talking to him. Perhaps she was too emotional to rip him a new arsehole for, yanno, KILLING HER HUSBAND. Or maybe she was planning for this. If only the writers gave her just a bit more attention.

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