4F02: Treehouse Of Horror VII

Airdate: 27 October 1996

Writer: Ken Keeler, Dan Greaney, David S. Cohen, Jacqueline Atkins
Director: Mike Anderson
Executive Producer: Bill Oakley, Josh Weinstein

The Thing And I: Homer and Marge tell the kids that Bart has an evil siamese twin brother named Hugo who had been separated from Bart at birth and kept in the attic where he cannot cause any harm.
The Genesis Tub: Lisa conducts a science experiment in which a tooth is combined with soda. But when static electricity ends up in the tub, Lisa awakens to find the tooth has evolved into a tiny society.
Citizen Kang: Kang and Kodos interrogate Homer about the Earth's leaders. When they learn of an upcoming election, the aliens kidnap Bob Dole and Bill Clinton and pose as them for the remainder of the campaign.

3F23: You Only Move Twice

Airdate: 3 November 1996

Writer: John Swartzwelder
Director: Mike Anderson
Executive Producer: Bill Oakley, Josh Weinstein

The Simpsons move to Cypress Creek where homer accepts a job at Globex Corporation. He enjoys the work and likes his boss, but the rest of the family does not adjust as well. Marge starts drinking after the house is kept self-maintained, Lisa is allergic to all of the plant life in the area, and Bart is moved into the remedial class at school. Homers boss Hank Scorpio is a terrorist and Globex is his vehicle for international extortion. While he fails to notice this, he befriends him and loves his job more than ever. Homer must listen to his family and decides to return to Springfield as Hank Scorpio takes over the East Coast. Scorpio gives Homer the Denver Broncos to show his appreciation.

4F03: The Homer They Fall

Airdate: 10 November 1996

Writer: John Collier
Director: Mark Kirkland
Executive Producer: Bill Oakley, Josh Weinstein

When Homer is beaten up by the parents of Bart's bullies, Moe notices he can take a blow to the head without falling. With a long history in boxing, Moe talks Homer into becoming a boxer and he assigns himself as manager. Homer's strategy is to take the punches until the opponent wears himself out, then when they are down to give them a nudge. His rise gains attention of Lucius Sweet, who wants Homer to fight Drederick Tatum, to which Moe accepts. Moe promises Sweet that Homer will stay up for three rounds, and promises Marge that he will throw in the towel as soon as Homer appears in any danger. When the fight begins, it is clear that Homer will not last the three rounds. Moe airlifts Homer to safety.

4F05: Burns, Baby Burns

Airdate: 17 November 1996

Writer: Ian Maxtone-Graham
Director: Jim Reardon
Executive Producer: Bill Oakley, Josh Weinstein

A souvenir salesman named Larry notices a familiar face on a train heading to Springfield -- Mr. Burns. The Simpsons see Larry hitchhiking and pick him up. Larry heads to the Burns estate and tells Mr. Burns that he is his long lost son. Burns admits that Larry was the result of a one-night fling during a college reunion. Burns first accepts his son but tires of him when he proves to be an annoyance. Homer befriends Larry, realizing they share common interests. Together they fake Larry's kidnapping to help him win back his father's love. As they leave to confess their scheme they are chased by the police. Burns forgives Larry for the hoax, but explains that he cannot continue as his father. Larry returns home, but not before an impromptu party.

4F06: Bart After Dark

Airdate: 24 November 1996

Writer: Richard Appel
Director: Dominic Polcino
Executive Producer: Bill Oakley, Josh Weinstein

Lisa and Marge leave Bart and Homer home alone to help clean up an oil spill. Bart damages property in the yard of a spooky house. A woman named Belle comes out and leads Bart home by the ear. Homer punishes Bart by making him do chores for Belle to pay for the accident. Belle's house turns out to be a burlesque salon. When Marge and Lisa return a bunch of angry citizens confront Homer on Bart's work. Marge joins the group in attempt to oust the house from Springfield. Marge convinces Springfield to demolish the old house. When the townspeople arrive with weapons of destruction, Homer sings a song to change everybody's mind. Marge accidentally damages the house anyway, leaving her to pay her debt by performing an act.

4F04: A Milhouse Divided

Airdate: 1 December 1996

Writer: Steve Tompkins
Director: Steve Moore
Executive Producer: Bill Oakley, Josh Weinstein

The Simpsons hold a dinner party, and invite the Van Houtens, Flanders, Hibberts, and Lovejoys. In front of the guests, Luann Van Houten announces she wants to divorce Kirk. Homer is confident that this will never happen to him, until Kirk tells him how quickly things change. Homer arrives home and receives a note about having to make his own dinner, and realizes he has taken his marriage for granted. He overcompensates by smothering Marge with love. She gets fed up and he goes to the courthouse to file for divorce. He arrives home and calls Marge into the living room. He surprises her by asking for a second marriage. Reverend Lovejoy performs the ceremony in their living room. Inspired by the two, Kirk asks Luann if she will marry him again, to which she refuses.

4F01: Lisa's Date With Density

Airdate: 15 December 1996

Writer: Mike Scully
Director: Susie Dietter
Executive Producer: Bill Oakley, Josh Weinstein

Homer finds an autodialer in the trash and uses it for telemarketing. Principal Skinner meanwhile finds proof that Nelson vandilized Chalmers's car. His punishment is to help Willie around the yard. Lisa watches Nelson torment Willie and develops a crush on him. She decides to change Nelson into a good person. They go on a date to the observatory where they kiss. Nelson is soon after dragged to Skinner's house to throw expired coleslaw at it. He is immediately accused of the attack, and seeks refuge at the Simpson house. Nelson tells Lisa he was framed but reveals the truth later. Lisa realizes that he is still a liar and drops him. Meanwhile, Homer's phone scam is revealed and he is ordered by the court to apologize.

4F07: Hurricane Neddy

Airdate: 29 December 1996

Writer: Steve Young
Director: Bob Anderson
Executive Producer: Bill Oakley, Josh Weinstein

A hurricane sweeps through Springfield and destroys only the Flanders's house. To make matters worse, Ned's store, The Leftorium is looted in the storm's aftermath. Without insurance, the family are forced to moved into the church basement. The people of Springfield gather together to rebuild the house. Ned inspects their work and finding that they did a poor job, he lashes out at everybody. Ned commits himself to a mental institution for insulting friends when they were trying to help. Dr. Foster, Ned's childhood psychiatrist treats Ned, and using Homer as a role model, he teaches Ned to express his angry feelings. Ned is cured and returned home.

3F24: El Viaje Misterioso De Nuestro Jomer

Airdate: 5 January 1997

Writer: Ken Keeler
Director: Jim Reardon
Executive Producer: Bill Oakley, Josh Weinstein

After promising to behave, Marge lets Homer attend the annual Springfield Chili Cook-Off. After eating a dish laced with potent Guatemalan peppers, he begins to hallucinate. In his altered mind-state, Homer experiences a fantasy involving a talking coyote. He tells him that in order to become a complete person, he must find his soul mate. Homer arrives home from the cook-off. Marge accuses him of breaking his promise, and Homer leaves the house and roams the city convinced that Marge is not his soul mate after all. He convinces himself that only a lonely lighthouse keeper would understand him, so he heads to the lighthouse. He finds out that the lighthouse is operated by a computer. Marge farrives at the lighthouse and apologizes to homer. He realizes she is his soul mate after all.

3G01: The Springfield Files

Airdate: 12 January 1997

Writer: Reid Harrison
Director: Steven Dean Moore
Executive Producer: Al Jean and Mike Reiss

Homer drinks too much at Moe's and opts to walk home late one night. He encounters an eerie glowing figure emerging from the woods. At home, dishelved and shaken, Homer's sighting is passed off as a product of too much drinking. The Springfield Shopper publishes a story about his encounter which is read by the FBI. X-Files agents Mulder and Scully arrive in town to interview Homer and visit the site. They find Homer's credibility shaky and the people of Springfield annoying, so they quickly leave. Bart and Homer set up camp at the site and videotape the alien. The following Friday, hundreds of Springfielders gather to catch a glimpse. The creature finally appears and its true identity is revealed as Mr. Burns, who had been receiving longevity treatments from Dr. Nick.

4F08: The Twisted World Of Marge Simpson

Airdate: 19 January 1997

Writer: Jennifer Crittenden
Director: Chuck Sheetz
Executive Producer: Bill Oakley, Josh Weinstein

Marge buys a pretzel franchise after being voted out of the Springfield Investorettes for being too conservative. They strike back by parking their felafel van next to her pretzel wagon. Marge tries to hand out free samples at a baseball game, but they are hurled at Mr. Burns instead of being eaten. Homer asks Fat Tony for assistance. Soon, orders for Marge's pretzels pour in while the felafel business fails mysteriously. Her sales skyrocket and Fat Tony attempts to collect all the profits. Marge refuses to comply, and Fat Tony and his goons arrive at their house for a showdown but are headed off by the Japanese mafia who are sent by the Investorettes to rub out Fat Tony.

4F10: Mountain Of Madness

Airdate: 2 February 1997

Writer: John Swartzwelder
Director: Mark Kirkland
Executive Producer: Bill Oakley, Josh Weinstein

Mr. Burns holds a survival retreat for employees. All the employees team up in pairs. Homer becomes partnered with Mr. Burns and Smithers must go solo. The last team to reach a cabin in a snowy mountainside will be fired. Burns and Homer cheat and arrive with the benefit of a snowmobile. Bart and Lisa volunteer to help Smithers. Homer and Burns start their celebration early, causing an onset of avalanches to bury the cabin. The rest of the employees mistake the ranger station for the cabin and congregate there. Trapped and cold, Homer and Burns turn insane and get into a fight. The fight ruptures a propane tank which ignites and sends the cabin rocketing up the mountain to safety.

3G03: Simpsoncalifrag ilisticexpiala-D'oh-cious

Airdate: 7 February 1997

Writer: Al Jean and Mike Reiss
Director: Chuck Sheetz
Executive Producer: Al Jean and Mike Reiss

Marge's hair begins to fall out due to stress. The family decides to look for a nanny, and they receive a visit from a magical British stranger who floats down from the sky via umbrella. The new nanny, Shary Bobbins, uses her gifts of song and imagination to teach Bart and Lisa how to clean. The miracle worker charms the whole town, even waming the heart of Mr. Burns. The family grow happier than ever and Marge's hair begins to grow back. Shary cannot help the Simpson family to amend their listless messy ways. She leaves realizing she taught the family nothing. As she floats away by her umbrella, she is sucked into a jet plane's engine and presumably killed.

4F12: The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show

Airdate: 9 February 1997

Writer: David S. Cohen
Director: Steve Moore
Executive Producer: Bill Oakley, Josh Weinstein

Roger Meyers Jr. sets out to discover the reason for a downfall in ratings of The Itchy & Scratchy Show. He creates a new character, a dog called Poochie. Homer auditions for the voice of the dog and gets the part. He and June Bellamy, the voice of Itchy & Scratchy, they make publicity appearances, fielding questions from nerdy fans. Poochie's debut is not well received by the fans of the show. Homer discovers his character will be killed off and refuses to read the pre-prepared script. He adds his own heartfelt dialogue, convinced that he has won the audience, but the scene he created is edited out and Poochie dies.

4F11: Homer's Phobia

Airdate: 16 February 1997

Writer: Ron Hauge
Director: Mike Anderson
Executive Producer: Bill Oakley, Josh Weinstein

The Simpsons must sell an old family heirloom in order to pay for a $900 gas bill. The family meets John, the owner of the collectibles store, who offers to check out their many posessions for any value. Homer takes a liking to him, but Marge informs him that John is gay. Homer refuses to see John again, but notices Bart's behavior has changed since he had been with John. Homer tries to make Bart more 'manly' but in the process, takes him to a gay steel mill. Homer, Moe, and Barney take Bart deer hunting. They find themselves a reindeer pen and the men urge Bart to kill one. He refuses, and the herd gets aggressive towards the group. As the reindeer begin to attack, John arrives with a remote-controlled Stanta which neutralizes the herd. Homer thanks John for saving his life.

4F14: Brother From Another Series

Airdate: 23 February 1997

Writer: Ken Keeler
Director: Pete Michels
Executive Producer: Bill Oakley, Josh Weinstein

Sideshow Bob is released from prison. His brother Cecil puts him up and hires him to supervise the construction of Springfield Dam. Bart suspects Bob is up to another diabolical scheme. He and Lisa sneak into his office and find a suitcase filled with money. Bob catches them and tries to explain his innocence, but the children refuse to believe him. Cecil enters and holds them all at gunpoint. His plan to blow up the dam, with Bob, Bart, and Lisa in it is revealed. He runs away with the $15 million embezzlement from the project, assuming Bob will be blamed, allowing him to get revenge on Bob for stealing his role as Krusty's sidekick. Bob helps the children escape, and although innocent, Bob and his brother are sent to prison.

4F13: My Sister, My Sitter

Airdate: 2 March 1997

Writer: Dan Greaney
Director: Jim Reardon
Executive Producer: Bill Oakley, Josh Weinstein

Lisa expresses an interest in babysitting. Flanders offers Lisa a job taking care of his boys, and gives her a glowing review. Homer and Marge are so impressed that they ask her to babysit Bart while they attend the Squidport gala. Bart is outraged but is prepared to make the night hell for Lisa. He feeds Maggie coffee ice cream and embarks on a series of pranks that unnerve Lisa. He refuses to go to bed, so Lisa lunges at him, knocking him down the stairs and breaking his arm. Bart bangs his head against a door to make the injury more serious. He passes out, Lisa panics and takes him to Dr. Nick's clinic in a wheelbarrow. Bart falls out down a hill on the way, stopping yards from the gala. The townspeople are mortified, but Lisa still receives babysitting offers the next day.

4F15: Homer Vs. The Eighteenth Amendment

Airdate: 16 March 1997

Writer: John Swartzwelder
Director: Bob Anderson
Executive Producer: Bill Oakley, Josh Weinstein

During a St. Patrick's Day Parade, a Duff Beer float sprays beer into Bart's mouth, causing him to get drunk. A group of women burst into City Hall and demands an all-out ban on the sale of alcohol. A clerk discovers a prohibition law that has been on the books for 200 years but never enforces. Mayor Quimby declares an end to liquor sales. Fat Tony smuggles alcohol into Moe's, so Chief Wiggum is replaced by a man named Rex Banner. He puts Fat Tony out of business. Homer steals Duff barrels from the city dump and under the name "Beer Baron", sells the beer. When the supply is finished, he creates his own beer in the basement. He confronts Wiggum with a plan to "expose" him to get his job back. Homer receives punishment, being catapulted out of town. The City Hall clerk stops the punishment stating the statute had been repealed.

4F09: Grade School Confidential

Airdate: 6 April 1997

Writer: Rachel Pulido
Director: Susie Dietter
Executive Producer: Bill Oakley, Josh Weinstein

Edna Krabappel and Principal Skinner take a romantic interest in each other whilst enjoying a conversation in Martin's playhouse at his Birthday party. Bart sees them kiss and prepares to tell his classmates. Skinner and Krabappel stop him in time. In exchange for his silence, they arrange for Milhouse and Bart's permanent records to be switched. Bart becomes their messenger to exchange love notes. Tired of being used he leads his classmates to the janitor's closet, exposing Skinner and Krabappel making out. The news gets to the parents, and soon after, Superintendent Chalmers finds out, telling Skinner to end the relationship of be fired. Skinner refuses, Chalmers fires both of them. Bart, Seymour, and Edna lock themselves on the roof of the school and alert media. Skinner tells townspeople that the two never had sex, and that he is still a virgin. The matter is cleared up and their jobs are reinstated.

4F16: The Canine Mutiny

Airdate: 13 April 1997

Writer: Ron Hauge
Director: Dom Polcino
Executive Producer: Bill Oakley, Josh Weinstein

Bart fills out a credit card application under the name Santa's Little Helper. He uses the card to shop for catalogue items and purchases a collie named Laddie. The dog is well trained and the family love him. When Bart fails to pay the balance on his card, all his items are reposessed. When they collect the dog, he tells them Santa's Little Helper is the dog he purchased and he is taken away. Tiring of Laddie, Bart wants Santa's Little Helper back. He gives Laddie to the police and finds Santa's Little Helper in the hands of a blind man named Mr. Mitchell. Bart breaks into the blind man's house to steal his dog, but he traps Bart in a closet and calls the police. They come with Laddie who takes an immediate liking to Mr. Mitchell. Laddie is in fact, sniffing out a bag of marijuana. Bart goes home with his dog and the police have a party.

4F17: The Old Man And The Lisa

Airdate: 20 April 1997

Writer: John Swartzwelder
Director: Mark Kirkland
Executive Producer: Bill Oakley, Josh Weinstein

Lisa informs Mr. Burns that according to his autobiography, he is not worth as much money as he thinks he is. Smithers, his lawyers, and accountants confirm that his holdings have depreciated in value considerably. He invests the rest of his money in archaic companies and loses everything. Burns moves in with Smithers. While Burns is shopping, clerks catch him talking to himself and commit him to the Springfield Retirement Home. He vows to regain his fortune when he hears Lisa collecting recyclables from the home. He asks Lisa to help him get his fortune back. She introduces him to recycling. Soon, Burns has enough money to build his own recycling plant, named after Lisa. He shows her how he captures aquatic life and "recycles" it into an all-purpose slurry. Lisa is horrified. When Burns regains his money he buys back the power plant. He pays Lisa her share of the profits. When she rips up the check, Homer has heart failure.

4F18: In Marge We Trust

Airdate: 27 April 1997

Writer: Donick Cary
Director: Steve Moore
Executive Producer: Bill Oakley, Josh Weinstein

Marge volunteers to help Reverend Lovejoy. She gives advice to members of the community who call in crisis. She gains a loyal following, as Lovejoy further loses interest in his own position. Meanwhile, Homer discovers his face appears on a box of Japanese dish soap. He calls the company to ask why, and receives a video tape. The video explains how two company logos were combined to create "Mr. Sparkle", who just happens to look like Homer. After giving Ned some advice, he is chased by Jimbo, Kearney and Dolph on their mini bikes. Lovejoy finds Ned and rescues him from a den of baboons at the zoo. Ned tells the story in his next sermon and miraculously captures the interest of the community.

4F19: Homer's Enemy

Airdate: 4 May 1997

Writer: John Swartzwelder
Director: Jim Reardon
Executive Producer: Bill Oakley, Josh Weinstein

A hard-working man named Frank Grimes is hired at the Power Plant and instantly dislikes Homer's poor performance and attitude. Grimes declares that he and Homer are enemies. At City Hall, Bart steps into an auction and buys an abandoned factory for a dollar. He hires Milhouse and the two spend their days wreaking havoc at the factory until is collapses. Grimes is invited to the Simpsons house for dinner, which only strengthens his dislike for Homer. To expose his stupidity, Grimes enters Homer into a children's contest to design a nuclear power plant. Homer wins the contest and is applauded by his peers. Grimes goes insane. Imitating Homer's behavior, he runs amok through the plant and electrocutes himself. As he is laid to rest, Homer sleeps through the funeral.

4F20: The Simpsons Spin-off Showcase

Airdate: 11 May 1997

Writer: David S. Cohen, Dan Greaney, Steve Tompkins, Ken Keeler
Director: Neil Affleck
Executive Producer: Bill Oakley, Josh Weinstein

Chief Wiggum, P.I: Chief Wiggum is a detective in New Orleans with an associate named Skinny Boy. A man named Big Daddy kidnaps Ralph and Wiggum sets off to find him.
The Love-Matic Grampa: Grampa dies and his soul gets lost on the way to heaven. It falls to earth and inhabits a Love Tester machine at Moe's. Grampa gives advice to desperate lovers.
The Simpson Family Smile-Time Variety Hour: In the guise of the Brady specials, the Simpson family minus Lisa participate in a series of musical comedy skits. Tim Conway drops in for a special guest appearance.

4F21: The Secret War Of Lisa Simpson

Airdate: 18 May 1997

Writer: Rich Appel
Director: Mike Anderson
Executive Producer: Bill Oakley, Josh Weinstein

Bart sneaks away from the group while on a field trip to Springfield Police Station. He groups together a large amount of bullhorns. Speaking into the end bullhorn, a soundwave explosion rocks Springfield, shattering windows and deafening the populace. Homer and Marge enroll Bart in a military academy as punishment. Lisa decides that she would also like to enroll. The facility has never had a female cadet. Nevertheless, the commandant relocates a group of cadets, giving Lisa her own barracks. The male cadets, take an immediate disliking to Lisa, and Bart refuses to speak to her. Bart secretly apologizes to her and asks her to stay, however Lisa is convinced she will not pass a test in which she must walk a 150-foot rope over thorns. Bart secretly trains her for the course. On the day of the test she makes it across with the help of Bart's encouragement.

The Episodes
[4F02] - Treehouse Of Horror VII
[3F23] - You Only Move Twice
[4F03] - The Homer They Fall
[4F05] - Burns, Baby Burns
[4F06] - Bart After Dark
[4F04] - A Milhouse Divided
[4F01] - Lisa's Date With Density
[4F07] - Hurricane Neddy
[3F24] - El Viaje Misterioso Nuestro Jomer
[3G01] - The Springfield Files
[4F08] - Twisted World Of Marge Simpson
[4F10] - Mountain Of Madness
[3G03] - Simpsoncalifragilisticexpa-D'oh-
[4F12] - Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show
[4F11] - Homer's Phobia
[4F14] - Brother From Another Series
[4F13] - My Sister, My Sitter
[4F15] - Homer vs. Eighteenth Amendment
[4F09] - Grade School Confidential
[4F16] - The Canine Mutiny
[4F17] - The Old Man And The Lisa
[4F18] - In Marge We Trust
[4F19] - Homer's Enemy
[4F20] - The Simpsons Spin-off Showcase
[4F21] - The Secret War Of Lisa Simpson

Matt Groening Says:
Yoo hoo, Simpsons Freaks!

Season 8, as we refer to it back at Simpsons headquarters, is a slambang animated laff-fest of gargantuan proportions, full of classic episodes, fan favorites, and specially inserted continuity errors to satisfy the compulsive nitpickers.

This is the season in which Albert Brooks played laidback supervillain Hank Scorpio. And Bart did battle with his not-quite-as-evil twin Hugo. And Lisa developed a sweet crush on Nelson Muntz. And Milhouse's strangely similar-looking parents got divorced. And Homer ate a Guatemalan insanity pepper and encountered a wise hallucinogenic coyote, voiced by Johnny Cash. And Marge had a pretzel-selling scheme. And Bart toured a gay steel mill. And Shary Bobbins floated away with her bumbershoot, only to be chewed up by a passing airliner. And we said hello and goodbye to Poochie, in "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show."

We had a blast making this merriment, and it gladdens our hearts to imagine you out there laughing in the dark in dome basement rumpus room. So settle back and watch contentedly as several hours of your life dance by in vivid, almost scorching colors.

Your pal,
Matt Groening

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