Friends and Family is the second episode of Season 28.
Mr. Burns hires the Simpsons to play his live-in virtual reality family, but excludes Homer so that he may play dad. Now lonesome, Homer finds a new best friend in girl-next-door Julia, who eats, drinks and thinks just like him.
Mr. Burns goes to an appointment with his counselor to deal with his anger issues. Much to Burns' dismay, Dr. Nussbaum gives up on his case after seventy years and says that he will never be able to have a family. A few moments after Burns leaves the room, the doctor dies. During his funeral, Burns paid for his tombstone which had "Paid for by C. Montgomery Burns" written on it. This makes everyone there displeased, so Waylon Smithers had to escape with Burns. During their escape, Smithers runs over Professor Frink, who was wearing virtual reality glasses. Burns gets interested in the technology and takes it home, where he has a lot of fun with them. However, Smithers reminds him that the last thing his doctor said was that he needed a family. Burns denies it, so Smithers gives him the idea of programming a virtual reality family to Burns.
At the families tryouts, the Simpsons are the ones who stood out the most to Burns, so he plans to hire them. Burns has intended to be the father of the family, so Homer Simpson is sent back home. During the first recordings, Burns likes the experience so much that he hires the Simpson family for ten years. At home, Homer misses his family at first, but he later realizes that he could have fun by himself. When he was lying naked on the roof at night, he meets his new neighbor Julia. He quickly realizes that they have the same love of beer and hatred towards Ned Flanders, so they choose to be friends.
At the recordings, the rest of the Simpson family is already tired of their job and Burns is outraged at them. Burns realizes that having a family is not for him and chooses to give up on his project by firing the Simpsons. When the family gets back home, Marge finds out about Homer's friendship with Julia. She gets nettled, thinking that Homer is cheating on her with Julia, but when Julia comes in through the back door, she assures Marge that she and Homer are just friends and that she is not the type of woman to steal a man if he is already in a relationship. Julia leaves after telling Marge that she and Homer are very lucky to have each other, and Marge, although she seems to accept Homer's friendship with Julia, is still a little ticked off with him. But after Homer explains some matters that his friendship with Julia taught him that can improve his relationship with Marge, she forgives him and they share a hug, which is seen by Julia and her fiancé, who works as a pilot.
The episode finishes by fast-forwarding a few years into the future showing most Springfieldians, including Homer and Marge, using virtual reality glasses.
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