Changing of the Guardian
Love Is a Many-Splintered Thing
Hardly Kirk-ing
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Love is a Many Splintered Thing is the twelfth episode of Season 24, which aired on February 10, 2013, as a Valentine's Day themed episode.

It guest starred Zooey Deschanel as Mary Spuckler, who has appeared in two episodes, including "Moonshine River" earlier in the season. Mary returns to Springfield to see Bart, but he doesn't pay her enough attention, which strains their relationship.

It also guest starred Benedict Cumberbatch, famous for playing Sherlock Holmes on the BBC's Sherlock, playing both a British Prime Minister and Severus Snape from Harry Potter. Previously the descriptions of the characters Cumberbatch was playing were described as a "sinister accountant" and a "snake-like character". A clip of this scene went viral in January 2016 due to the fact that Alan Rickman and a David Bowie penned tune both were featured in the clip and both having died in the same week.

Political biographer Robert A. Caro and former Conan O'Brien bandleader Max Weinberg guest starred as themselves.


Mary Spuckler returns to Springfield to be with Bart, but he ends up ignoring her, straining their relationship. Also, Marge puts Homer in the doghouse.

Full Story

Narrating the episode, Bart looks upon his failure with girls, particularly Mary Spuckler. At the school, Bart learns that Mary has returned to Springfield due to her failed career as an actress (being only used in commercials) and was allowed back to the Spuckler home after the events of her last episode (Moonshine River). The two soon start a relationship, which quickly spirals downward because Bart is more focused on video games than Mary.

Lisa warns Bart to not take Mary for granted, but he still does, prompting Mary to explain to Bart that the two of them should take a break. Bart soon catches on when he finds out that Mary has found a new love for a Brazilian boy.

Later on, whilst Homer and Marge are in an argument, Bart takes Homer's side by saying men cannot understand what women are saying because women never say exactly what's on their minds. Shocked, Marge explains to Homer what she exactly thinks about him, and soon Bart and Homer are both kicked out of the house.

The two eventually settle in to Brokewood Apartments, an apartment where other husbands live after being kicked out by their wives. Bart and Homer grow accustomed to their new lifestyle, but are soon tired and, along with the other husbands, attempt to win their loves back.

The men are soon watching British romantic comedies (also known as rom-coms). Later, they invite the women over and serenade them with a song to the tune of The Ode of Joy. Almost all the women are wooed, save Mary, who is still dating the Brazilian boy.

The episode finishes with Bart on a social media site and finding that Mary's relationship status is "single." He later writes "I miss you" as a message to her.


Season 23 Season 24 Episodes Season 25
Moonshine RiverTreehouse of Horror XXIIIAdventures in Baby-GettingGone Abie GonePenny-WiseguysA Tree Grows in SpringfieldThe Day the Earth Stood CoolTo Cur, with LoveHomer Goes to Prep SchoolA Test Before TryingChanging of the GuardianLove Is a Many-Splintered ThingHardly Kirk-ingGorgeous GrampaBlack-Eyed, PleaseDark Knight CourtWhat Animated Women WantPulpit FrictionWhiskey BusinessThe Fabulous Faker BoyThe Saga of CarlDangers on a Train