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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Retro Review: Dead Putting Society

Or The One Where: Bart and Todd Flanders compete in a mini golf tourny. 

The Setup: After Flanders invites Homer over for a drink, Homer believes Ned is rubbing his success in Homer's face, sparking a feud between the two neighbors which culminates when they enter their sons in a golf tournament.

A Work In Progress: This is the first Flanders-centric episode, as Ned and Todd Flanders share the spotlight with Homer and Bart. Accordingly, it also introduces Maude and Rod Flanders.

Favorite Lines:

Homer: There's nothing wrong with crabgrass. It just has a bad name, that's all. Everyone would love it if it had a cute name like, eh, 'elfgrass'.

Homer: Marge, where's the Duff!?!
Marge: Oh, uh, we're all out, Homer.
Homer: D'oh!
Marge: Would you like some fruit juice?
Homer: Don't toy with me, woman!

Marge: I'm worried that you're making too big a deal of this silly little kiddie golf tournament.
Homer: But Marge, this is our big chance to show up the Flandereses.
Marge: Well, I'm sure it is, but why do we want to do that?
Homer: Because sometimes the only way you can feel good about yourself is by making someone else look bad. And I'm tired of making other people feel good about themselves!

Lisa: I want you to shut off the logical part of your mind.
Bart: Okay.
Lisa: Embrace nothingness.
Bart: You got it.
Lisa: Become like an uncarved stone.
Bart: Done.
Lisa: Bart, you're just pretending to know what I'm talking about!
Bart: True.
Lisa: Well, it's very frustrating!
Bart: I'll bet.

 Teebore's Take: Once upon a time, the screen saver I had on my computer was inspired by the end of this episode, in which Homer and Ned, dressed in their wives' best Sunday dresses, "mowed" my screen. This episode is filled with some great bits that don't translate well into dialogue, such as the tournament announcer's over-the-top reactions to a mini-golf contest for children and Lisa teaching Bart 3,000 year old Zen riddles with no answers in order to clear his mind of conscious thought. "What is the sound one hand clapping?" she asks, to which Bart promptly claps the fingers of one hand into the palm of the same hand. "Dead Putting Society" also sets up Homer's adversarial relationship with Flanders (hinted at a bit previously) as well as the propensity for intense rage and mood swings that will became a staple of his character in years to come.


A solid episode that lays the groundwork for some future episodes. Memorable for the "one hand clapping" gag alone. It's also the first time I heard the term "Rumpus Room", a term that remains a favorite of mine.


  1. "Your beer comes from farther away than my beer. You and your son like each other. Your wife's butt is higher than my wife's butt! You make me sick!"

    My favorite Simpsons' line ever is during the Whacking Day one, when the music teacher is on the bench and he goes "Ew, a bug!" and then is swarmed by a wave of snakes. I dunno why, I have seen it probably 6 times and it still makes me giddy.

  2. Ha! That line almost made the cut. Homer's delivery of it really sells it.

    The Whacking Day episode is one my favorites. It has a winning combination of social commentary, absurd humor and sexual innuendo.

    My all time favorite Simpsons' bit, however, is when Sideshow Bob steps on all the rakes after arriving at Terror Lake in the Cape Feare episode.

    I have never laughed harder at anything than the first time I watched that sequence, and to this day it still makes me laugh every time I watch it.


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