Dead Putting Society
I am not a 32 year old woman
Couch gag: Snowball and Santa’s Little Helper squeeze onto the couch with the family.
Director: Rich Moore
First appearance of:
Synopsis: Homer feels that Ned Flanders’ perfect family is being rubbed in his face, so when Bart and Todd enter a mini golf tournament, a wager is placed that the father of the boy who doesn’t win has to mow the lawn wearing their wife’s Sunday best. Bart and Todd reveal themselves to be equals at the game, deciding at the final hole that they want a draw. Because neither boy won, both Ned and Homer fulfill their wager.
Discussion: Here we’re introduced to the whole Flanders family (even after all this time, I’m still confused which one is Rod and which is Todd…) The episode deepens the rivalry between Ned and Homer. Well, Homer’s rivalry and Ned’s love thy neighbour attitude. Ned loses his temper several times within this episode, which rarely happens in future episodes (for reasons explained in later eps).
Again, not a favourite episode although I think the reason for this is simple: I’ve seen it far too many times. It’s hard to look at these early shows with a fresh eye, especially as I know how things work out and how relationships progress.
Of course, the Homer-Ned rivalry was first visited in ‘Call of the Simpsons‘ when Homer became jealous of Ned’s RV and sets out to buy a bigger, better one. Homer is easily aware of his family’s flaws, as was demonstrated in ‘There’s No Disgrace Like Home‘ where he compares his family to a seemingly perfect one and takes his own family to therapy in order to improve their inter-familial relationships. It’s a recurring theme; Homer wants to deconstruct the Flanders family just to prove their imperfection. Ned tries so hard to be perfect (even calling Rev Lovejoy to ask advice on simple matters) so he is aware of his imperfection although Homer never sees it. In any case, what this episode is really demonstrating is Bart’s desire to be just a regular kid without any pressure.