Just as he begins to enjoy his popularity as a swinging bachelor, Apu receives an unwelcome reminder of his pending arranged marriage. Desperate to escape the agreement, Apu claims to have already married Marge Simpson. Guest starring Jan Hooks as Manjula Nahasapeemapetilon and Andrea Martin as Apu's mother.
At a bachelor auction to raise money for the Springfield fire brigade, the available bachelors on display are deemed undesirable, and the auction makes no money at all. Marge then nominates Apu, who is deemed a success by the women at the auction and is sold for $926. He goes out on dates with Luann Van Houten, Miss Hoover, Selma Bouvier, Ruth Powers and Lois Pennycandy, and begins to enjoy his bachelor lifestyle. One day, he receives a letter from his mother in India, reminding him of his arranged marriage to Manjula, the daughter of a family friend. Not wanting to get married, Apu asks Homer for advice. Homer suggests Apu tell his mother that he is already married. Days later, Apu thinks that he has escaped the marriage until he sees his mother walking towards the Kwik-E-Mart. To cover him, Homer tells Apu to pretend that Marge is his wife.
At the Simpson residence, Marge disapproves of the plan, but decides to do it for Apu's sake. Apu's mother is displeased with his choice of bride, and shocked to learn that she has grandchildren. While the plan is under way, Homer decides to stay in the Springfield Retirement Castle with his father, posing as resident Cornelius Talmidge. Unfortunately for Homer, the real Cornelius returns, at which point, he flees. He returns home and gets into bed with Marge. Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilon enters to say goodbye, but is shocked to see Marge in bed with another man, and Apu on the floor. Tired of the whole charade, Marge forces Apu to tell his mother the truth, who declares that the arranged marriage will proceed as planned.
The wedding is held in the Simpsons's back garden, but Apu still has second thoughts about it. However, when he sees Manjula for the first time in years, he realizes how beautiful she really is and feels a little less reluctant. Apu asks about her favorite food, book and movie; the answer to all three questions is Fried Green Tomatoes. The pair decide that perhaps the marriage can work after all. Homer, poorly disguised as Ganesha, tries to stop the wedding, but is chased away by one of the guests, and Apu and Manjula marry.
Writer Richard Appel pitched "The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons" at a story retreat several years before the ninth season, but it could not be fitted into a season at that point. Mike Scully liked the idea and so decided to use it in his first season as show runner. Homer's sub plot at the Retirement Castle was an idea that Scully had for a long time, originally conceiving it as an entire episode on its own. The plot could not be sustained, and so it was fitted into to this one.
The bachelor auction was created solely to provide more evidence that Apu is the best bachelor in Springfield, Appel found that the scene "wrote itself," as every other man in Springfield is essentially a loser compared to Apu. The scene acted as the episode's opening set piece, a concept that Scully liked to use it every episode. The montage of Apu getting several different hair styles, originally included three more, but they ended up being cut for time. The shot in which Apu's mother falls to the ground, a joke that the staff love, was inspired by an incident when Moore saw a man fall in much the same way. The joke was only inserted to buy Apu and Homer more time to come up with a lie. Before the wedding, Bart fuels a "sacred fire" with pages from a hymn book. Originally he used pages from The Bible, but after the scene had been animated Scully found the joke "horrible" and changed what the book said.
Andrea Martin provided the voice of Apu's mother, recording her part in New York. She wanted to get the voice perfect, so in between takes she listened to tapes of Hank Azaria reading lines for Apu, to make sure her voice could realistically be Apu's mother's. During the flashback to Apu's childhood, the animators made sure not to show Manjula, as they wished to reveal at the end of the episode.
The staff researched into arranged Hindu marriages, learning about ideas such as the lotus flower being used as a message, but a majority of the information turned out "not to be as hilarious [as the writers] had hoped," and so was dropped.Steven Dean Moore, the episode's director, researched into the design of every aspect of Indian culture shown in the episode. The events of the wedding, as well as the items present, were all taken from traditional Hindu marriage ceremonies.
Todd Gilchrist named the episode as one of his favorites of the ninth season in his review of the DVD boxset, and Warren Martyn and Adrian Wood, the authors of the book I Can't Believe It's a Bigger and Better Updated Unofficial Simpsons Guide, called it "a good fun episode." Ian Jones and Steve Williams criticized the episode, calling it "a messy, unfocused lampooning" of arranged Hindu marriages.
Homer writing "Where are the sticky buns" on a sheet of paper after Apu asks him for advice is one of Mike Scully's favorite jokes.