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Bart vs. Australia
Homer vs. Patty and Selma
A Star is Burns
Sure, Homer, I can loan you all the money you need. However, since you have no collateral, I'm going to have to break your legs in advance.
Moe Szyslak

"Homer vs. Patty and Selma" is the seventeenth episode of Season 6.

Synopsis

Homer loses all his money in pumpkin stocks and must turn to Patty and Selma for a loan. He tries his best to keep it a secret from Marge. Meanwhile, Bart is late for physical education class sign-ups and has to take a ballet class.

Full Story

Homer plans to try his hand in a financial investment by investing in Halloween pumpkins. Thinking that they will peak in January, he does not sell them by Halloween and loses his entire investment. Now short on money and late on a mortgage payment, he tries to borrow it, but with no avail. Meanwhile, Patty and Selma have received a promotion at the DMV and have more disposable income. As a last resort, Homer asks the two if they will lend him the money. They agree, but he must become their loyal servant. Patty and Selma make Homer's life a living hell. Not long afterwards, Marge discovers that Homer borrowed money from her sisters and they drive it in by telling her about the pumpkins. Enraged, Homer throws Patty out the door, followed by Marge who he immediately retrieves whilst offering an apology along the way, then Selma and tells them never to darken his door again. Marge is not outraged about the deception, but upset that he didn't tell her up front so she could help.

The subplot consists of Bart taking up ballet. After cutting class, Bart is distressed to discover that students were choosing their physical education classes on that day. The only class with places left available is ballet. At first Bart is embarrassed, as he considers ballet a "girl sport" and is the only male in the class. However, he takes a liking to the class when he discovers that he has a latent talent for the dance form and the teacher invites him to star in a school ballet performance. Fearful of being taunted by his fellow students he performs while wearing a mask, but takes it off after discovering that his classmates are impressed with his dancing abilities. When Nelson and his band of bullies discover that it is Bart they choose to beat him up and he is forced to run from them. Bart attempts to escape by jumping over a trench, but fails to make the leap and is injured when the bullies take off (as Bart got hurt anyway), Lisa comes to console him, but she leaves Bart stranded.

To earn more money, Homer plans to become a chauffeur, but is pulled over when he does not have a chauffeur's license. When he goes to the DMV with Marge to apply for one, Patty and Selma are his elevators. The twins mercilessly taunt Homer and fail both his driving test and written test. Just after stamping his test with a large "Fail" stamp, the two light up cigarettes, but are immediately spotted by their supervisor. Their supervisor tells them that smoking on the job is an offense that could cost them both their promotions and their jobs. Marge shows concern for her sisters, but Homer is happy since it will be revenge for the way they mistreated him. Upon seeing how worried Marge is, however, Homer reluctantly covers for them by claiming the cigarettes as his own and demonstrates it by smoking in the building. Their supervisor apologizes to Patty and Selma and slaps the cigarettes out of Homer's mouth. Marge is proud of Homer, but he tells her that he only did it for her and not her sisters. The two are grudgingly thankful and Homer coerces them to clear his debt in lieu of his favor to them.

Behind the Laughter

Reception

Chris Turner writes in Planet Simpson that the scene where Homer "smashes a dinner plate over his head" is one of his favorite Homer moments."I'd like to say it's the defining Homer moment,but that would do a grave injustice to the extraordinary dramatic achievement that is Homer J. Simpson," Turner comments. Writing in I Can't Believe It's a Bigger and Better Updated Unofficial Simpsons Guide,Warren Martyn and Adrian Wood comment on the episode "Quite a fun one this" and highlight the machinations of Patty and Selma:"Patty and Selma have rarely been more evil than here they are fabulously cruel."In a review of the sixth season of The Simpsons,Colin Jacobson of DVD Movie Guide writes:"Homer’s disdain for Marge’s sisters–and vice versa–has always led to terrific sparks, and "Vs." provides another great round in their eternal battle. It’s hilarious to see Homer indebted to the Terrible Two."

Citations

Season 5 Season 6 Episodes Season 7
Bart of DarknessLisa's RivalAnother Simpsons Clip ShowItchy & Scratchy LandSideshow Bob RobertsTreehouse of Horror VBart's GirlfriendLisa on IceHomer BadmanGrampa vs. Sexual InadequacyFear of FlyingHomer the GreatAnd Maggie Makes ThreeBart's CometHomie the ClownBart vs. AustraliaHomer vs. Patty and SelmaA Star is BurnsLisa's WeddingTwo Dozen and One GreyhoundsThe PTA Disbands'Round SpringfieldThe Springfield ConnectionLemon of TroyWho Shot Mr. Burns? (Part One)