Round 29: This Little Wiggy vs. Fear of Flying

Round 29: 5F13 vs. 2F08.

5F13: “This Little Wiggy” (Season 9 / March 22, 1998)
Written by Dan Greaney
Directed by Neil Affleck
Showrunner: Mike Scully

Homer Simpson wohooing.

“Wohoo! Beer, beer, beer, bed, bed, bed…”

I kinda remember that there was some “controversy” with this episode and German television, where they wouldn’t show it in its usual kid-friendly time-slot (the channel never got the memo that The Simpsons isn’t a kids’ show) but instead could only be aired after 10 pm in front of that X-Files episode where they bury the baby alive… or something like that. I could look it up but why bother. Oh, and the thing they didn’t want to show was when Quimby gets nearly executed at the end, which I guess us not the most violent thing the show has done but I certainly didn’t need to see it.

  • I like over-stimulated Homer, and Bart cleaning his toys was great, too.
  • A total non-sequitur, but Homer and Marge recording a new outgoing phone message had me in stitches.
  • “The world is our toy store!” (I didn’t get that the first few times. Very funny.)

2F08: “Fear of Flying” (Season 6 / December 18, 1994)
Written by David Sacks
Directed by Mark Kirkland
Showrunner: David Mirkin

Marge Simpson repairing the roof in the middle of the night.

“Marge, it’s 3 a.m. Shouldn’t you be baking?”

Fun fact: I’m writing this on the train! On my phone, too, not on one of your fancy tablet computers! I’m on my way to a friend’s wedding,  but I watched the episode right before I left for the station.

A great episode, very Mirkin-esque. It’s heavy on the jokes, sometimes going into the absurd, especially in the first act. But once the Marge plot kicks in we get some nice emotional content, as well. Marge’s fear of flying rings very true to her character, and I love Homer’s obsessive worrying about the therapist blaming him for Marge’s problems. In fact we get a lot of hilarious Homer moments in this episode, with Dan firing on all cylinders. (“I wanna live, Marge! Why won’t you let me live!”)

Other favorite bits:
Homer’s search for a new bar.
The whole Lost in Space thing, especially Homer as Dr. Smith.
The flashbacks to Marge’s childhood. (The toy plane catching fire, the North by Northwest reference.)

The winner: 2F08, “Fear of Flying.”