"Weekend at Burnsie's" is the sixteenth episode of Season 13. It aired on April 7, 2002. The episode was written by Jon Vitti and directed by Michael Marcantel. The episode guest stars Phish as themselves.
Homer is prescribed medicinal marijuana after getting pecked in the eyes by a murder of crows. While his family and friends worry about the drug altering his personality, Homer becomes Mr. Burns' vice president after cracking up at Burns's antiquated jokes.
After a bad experience with genetically modified food (Namely, a potato gained enough sentience to eat a carrot in front of Lisa), Marge chooses to plant her own garden. She faces a few problems. Crows arrive on the new garden and eat the seeds, so Marge decides to make a scarecrow. However, the Flanders mistake the large stake for the true Cross and pray in front of it. Marge has to shoo them too. She finishes making the scarecrow with the pumpkin from the Treehouse of Horror series, Bart's horse-riding trousers from "Saddlesore Galactica", Lisa's hockey jersey from "Lisa on Ice", and Grampa's hat, which is said to be from a fictional episode "Who Shot Grampa's Hat?" Marge puts the scarecrow up in her garden, and the crows instantly flee into the Flanders' yard.
After coming home late at night, Homer mistakes the scarecrow for a scary person and destroys it. This leads to the crows to see Homer as their leader, following him everywhere and doing everything he tells them to. Homer enjoys being their leader, but the rest of the family and his friends avoid him as they are scared of all the crows (especially after it was implied that they mauled Barney). And Marge starts sleeping on the couch when Homer tells her that a group of crows is called a murder. One day when Homer tells the murder to bring Maggie down from the second floor, they take her and bring her high up in the air. Maggie falls out of her onsie but uses her diaper as a parachute and lands safely in Homer's arms. Homer is furious at the crows, tries to lay down some rules, but they protest, which was the last straw in Homer's eyes and yells at them to go away while swinging a broom and they all attack him.
He is rushed to the hospital, where Dr. Hibbert puts stitches in his eyes. Homer then experiences horrible pain and Dr. Hibbert prescribes him medicinal marijuana and a prescription bong (Homer has a choice between a wizard bong or a skull bong). However, Homer is reluctant to take marijuana due to an incident in 1978 where Lenny and Carl asked if he would take a bong, but Officer Wiggum was going to bust them, and had to place his newly received bong in his pants crotch due to Lenny and Carl telling him to "crotch it", and unfortunately for him, Scraps, the sniffer dog accompanying Wiggum, detected it and then bit him on the crotch and swung him around violently to even Wiggum's shock, alongside the fact that using marijuana was technically illegal.
When he gets home, Homer immediately goes upstairs to his room. He follows the instructions on the bottle and starts toking. Marge and the kids catch him toking while singing "Smoke on the Water". Marge is outraged at first, but because it is for Homer's eyes, she goes along with it. Homer becomes a stoner stereotype, such as hallucinating things in an acid trip, spamming Marge with calls. He enjoys listening to Lisa play her saxophone (and thinking that it would make a great pipe), watching TV with Otto in the attic while talking about Fonzie, and even asking Flanders to read him the whole Holy Bible, much to Ned's joy. When Flanders offers a petition to have a vote on the ban of medical marijuana in Springfield, Homer unwittingly adds his signature. Homer's stoned state also sees him promoted to Executive Vice-President at the power plant, and so he goes to a rally for the legalization of medical marijuana (but the rally is actually held a day after the ban was approved by voters). Homer is cured of his medical condition and promises he won’t smoke pot again.
Mr. Burns asks Homer to help him with a speech for a crisis shareholders meeting. Homer gives Smithers his last joint, and while Smithers is smoking and dressing like Judy Garland, Smithers asks if Homer he could pose as Mickey Rooney, to which Homer asks if he is the same guy who keeps shouting stuff on 60 Minutes, Smithers, upon hearing this, notices that Burns was gone for over an hour, and rushes to his bathroom: Turns out to their horror that Burns apparently drowned in his bathtub. So, for the meeting, Smithers and Homer make Burns into a marionette a-la Weekend at Bernie's and the movement of the marionette inadvertently gets Burns’ heart beating again. The meeting is a success, and another financial crisis at the power plant is avoided. However, Burns does use their idea to have him as a marionette as their punishment after Homer inadvertently admitted that he failed to take Burns to the hospital.
Behind the Laughter
Due to the prevalent drug themes/use throughout the episode, the following rating assignments were made:
This is the second episode of The Simpsons to be issued an “M” rating on Australian network television for “drug use” (the first episode to be rated M by Network Ten was Natural Born Kissers, although that episode has been rated PG by the OFLC).
This episode does not air before the 9pm watershed on Sky One or Channel 4 in the UK and has it's usual 12 rating on DVD.
This episode was originally rated TV-PGV when it first aired in the U.S., but was later rerated TV-14V.