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Friday, July 20, 2012

Retro Review: Selma's Choice

Original Airdate
January 21, 1993

Or the One Where
Aunt Selma takes Bart and Lisa to the Duff Gardens amusement park.

The Setup
Inspired by the death of a childless aunt, and contemplating artifical insemination, Selma agrees to take the kids to Duff Gardens after Homer gets food poisoning from a rotten sandwich.

Notable Notes
This is the first appearance of Jug-Jug the iguana, who becomes Aunt Selma's pet (and fills the void in her life).

For the scene in which the family watches Aunt Gladys' video will, Julie Kavner performed five different voices (Marge, Patty, Selma, their mother, and Gladys).

Quotable Quotes
Marge: The funeral's in Littleneck Falls. I'm afraid we'll have to go to Duff Gardens some other time.  
Lisa: We understand.  
Bart: No use complaining about something you can't change.  
Homer: But I want to go to Duff Gardens. Right now!  
Marge: Homer, quit pouting.  
Homer: I'm not pouting. I'm mourning. Stupid dead woman.

Marge: You've been eating that sandwich for over a week. I think the mayonnaise is starting to turn.  
Homer: Two more feet, and I can fit it in the fridge!

Lisa: Bye, Dad, don't eat any solids.  
Homer: But I love solids.

Officer: We found this one swimming naked in the Fermentarium.
Lisa: I am the Lizard Queen!
Doctor: Give her this...and this...and then these all of these.
Selma: Thank you, doctor.  
Doctor: Oh, I'm not a doctor.


Teebore's Take
While rarely mentioned in the same company as "Mr. Plow" or "Marge vs. the Monorail" as an automatic classic, this is one of my favorite episodes. Featuring the show's first attempt to parody Disneyworld, the final act, alternating between Bart and Lisa's antics at Duff Gardens and Homer and Marge's debauchery at home makes for one of the funniest sustained ten minutes in the show's history, capped off by Lisa's memorable freakout (triggered by drinking the water in the "It's A Small World"-esque ride) in which she declares she's the Lizard Queen. The first act contains some strong material as well, as we get a couple of different set pieces (the Simpsons on a road trip, the Simpsons at a funeral), and, of course, there's also the flashback to Homer's conquest of the massive sandwich, and his inexplicable inability to throw it out once and for all. Great stuff throughout, but it's really all the antics at Duff Gardens that put the episode over the top.

Classic

While not an automatic classic, this is still one of my personal favorites, and a good showcase for Aunt Selma.

5 comments:

  1. Uhhh, actually, the Iguana's name is Jub-Jub. [/comicbookguy] There's maybe only one or two "not great" episodes of season 4, and while I'd put this episode in the middle of the season, that's not a knock against it. Homer's often at his best as a supporting character, as his sandwich eating and bedsheet toga are pretty great as a B-plot. A great little Lionel Hutz appearance, too ("You'd be surprised how often that works, you really would!" I also love Maggie's panic at Selma's "I want a baby!"

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  2. I've always wondered why Selma makes Lisa drink the water. I guess it's supposed to show how bad she would be at parenting, but even so, it just seems like a baffling decision.
    But I suppose I should thank her since it gave us the line, "I am the lizard queen!"

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  3. @Dobson: Uhhh, actually, the Iguana's name is Jub-Jub

    What did I call him? ... 'Jug-Jug'? That's just all kinds of wrong. #SimpsonsFail.

    I also love Maggie's panic at Selma's "I want a baby!"

    That's a fantastic bit of visual humor. And a Lionel Hutz appearance is always good.

    @Dr. BitzI've always wondered why Selma makes Lisa drink the water.

    Yeah, I've always chalked it up to just being needed for the gag. We expect her to tell Bart to knock it off, we don't expect her to tell Lisa to drink the water, so when she does, it's funny. And then, of course, it shows what a bad parent she'd be.

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  4. The whole sandwich bit in this episodes is one of my all-time favorites

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  5. @Anonymous: I love when he picks it up out of the garbage while sick, and Marge has to slap it out of his hands.

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