|The Simpsons episode|
|Episode no.||Season 14|
|Directed by||Jim Reardon|
|Written by||Ian Maxtone-Graham|
|Original air date||November 24, 2002|
|Couch gag||Homer draws the family on the couch with an Etch-a-Sketch (called a "Sketch-A-Etch" in the couch gag) as he yells, "Whoo-hoo!".|
Mike B. Anderson
"Large Marge" is the fourth episode of the fourteenth season of the American animated television sitcom The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 24, 2002. In the episode, Marge decides to get liposuction, thinking that Homer does not find her attractive anymore. However, she accidentally receives breast implants, so she becomes adored by many men in Springfield and becomes a model. Meanwhile, Bart and Milhouse try to imitate a stunt they saw on an episode of Batman that guest starred Krusty the Clown. When the stunt ends badly, media watchdog groups blame Krusty, forcing the clown to make his show more safety-conscious and less fun.
Lisa and Homer make a bet on who won the 1948 presidential election. Lisa wins and she gets to choose the activity for Daddy-Daughter Day. Her activity is taking part in building homes for a Habitat for Humanity alongside Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and George H. W. Bush, whose relationship mirrors that of the Three Stooges. While painting, Homer takes off his wedding ring (which actually is a Band-Aid with tin foil wrapped around it, as Homer's real wedding band was swallowed by a turtle) in order not to get paint on it, and Lindsay Naegle and Cookie Kwan mistakenly think Homer is a bachelor. Marge, driving by with Maggie, sees Homer appearing to flirt with the women by flexing his muscles (though he is actually acting out Marge going into labor with Bart). Marge worries that Homer has lost interest in her, so she decides to get liposuction, on the advice of Manjula. Unfortunately, a mix-up causes her to get breast implants, which were intended for one of Mayor Quimby's female interns. The doctor says that Marge must wait for 48 hours before the implants can be removed.
Meanwhile, Bart and Milhouse watch an episode of Batman, featuring Krusty as a villain named Clownface, who threatens Batman with a rapidly spinning carousel of death. Bart and Milhouse like the idea, inspiring them to recreate the stunt, with Bart putting Milhouse on a merry-go-round in school. Otto uses the bus to kick-start the merry-go-round, spinning it at an incredible speed. The bolts give way and the merry-go-round goes flying through the air, knocking over the school flag. Milhouse vomits on the flag while Iwo Jima veterans are visiting the school. As Principal Skinner catches Bart for it, Bart confessed that he and Milhouse saw Krusty do the stunt on television. In response, Skinner leads a group protesting against Krusty, who is now seen as a dangerous influence to children. Krusty's show is revamped to exclude anything considered dangerous and likely to be imitated by impressionable viewers (to the point that Krusty's monkey sidekick, Mr. Teeny, has to be sent back to the wild).
After coming home from her surgery, Marge realizes that her breasts are making her life difficult in doing even the simplest tasks. Marge tries to hide her breasts from her family, but Homer and the children find out Marge's secret after a few short hours. Marge and her family go out for dinner to the local Italian restaurant. Luigi, who had just rejected Ned Flanders, immediately admits the Simpson family. Kiki Highsmith, a trade show executive, approaches Marge and offers her a modeling job. Marge accepts and initially enjoys the experience, but is soon plagued by backaches and many men in Springfield sexually harassing her.
At the Springfield Shoe Expo, Marge is further humiliated and objectified by lustful men while promoting shoe horns. At the same time, Bart helps Krusty to win back his popularity, using Milhouse and Stampy, Bart's pet elephant, in a stunt. The stunt quickly goes out of control when Stampy stuffs both Milhouse and Bart in his mouth. Homer tries to save them, but also gets stuffed into Stampy's mouth. Krusty forgets the word that was supposed to make Stampy submit and lie down. The police decide to shoot at Stampy, which would endanger Homer, Bart and Milhouse. Marge appears on the scene, and after unsuccessfully trying to dissuade the police shooting (as Chief Wiggum claims that they do not negotiate with elephants), distracts the police by flashing her breasts to the assembled crowd. Krusty, still despised by residents of Springfield, saves the day when he remembers Stampy's safety word "Magumbo" after accidentally saying it while ogling Marge's breasts. Stampy releases Bart, Milhouse, and Homer, and Krusty is hailed as a hero and his popularity is restored with the town (though the story of how Krusty saved the kids is relegated to only a paragraph in the local paper while the story of Marge flashing the crowd at the shoe expo received 26 pages with photos). In the end, Marge has the implants removed.
"Large Marge" was written by Ian Maxtone-Graham and directed by Jim Reardon as part of the fourteenth season of The Simpsons (2002–03). In an Associated Press news report about the episode, it was cited as satirizing "plastic surgery and images of beauty in popular culture." Actors Adam West and Burt Ward, who starred in the television series Batman as Batman and Robin, respectively, guest starred in "Large Marge" as those characters. Junkanoo band Baha Men, known for their single "Who Let the Dogs Out?", recorded a parody of that song for this episode titled "Who Let Her Jugs Out?". It plays over the closing credits.
The episode originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 24, 2002. On February 7, 2006, "Large Marge" was released in the United States on a DVD collection titled The Simpsons Kiss and Tell: The Story of Their Love, along with the season nine episode "Natural Born Kissers", the season fourteen episode "Three Gays of the Condo", and the season fifteen episode "The Way We Weren't". All four episodes revolve around the romance between Homer and Marge. On December 6, 2011, "Large Marge" was released on Blu-ray and DVD as part of the box set The Simpsons – The Complete Fourteenth Season. Staff members Al Jean, Ian Maxtone-Graham, Matt Selman, Tom Gammill, Matt Warburton, David Silverman, and Mike B. Anderson, as well as cast member Nancy Cartwright, participated in the DVD audio commentary for the episode. Deleted scenes from the episode were also included in the box set.
Reviews from television critics about this episode have been mixed since the release of the Kiss and Tell DVD.
IGN's Jeff Otto commented that while he thought "Natural Born Kissers" was the only "great" episode in the compilation, "All four episodes are good Simpsons episodes." He added: "I can't figure why, if Fox was going to put together a set of this theme, they couldn't have included some of the more classic episodes about Marge and Homer's romance. Still, even the lesser Simpsons episodes are entertaining, so you could certainly do worse."
DVD Movie Guide's Colin Jacobson commented that though "the plot of 'Large' screams 'high concept', it actually works pretty well. It uses the silliness attached to Marge's chest to good comic effect, and the secondary plot with Bart and Krusty ties into things in a fun manner. It presents a lot of funny bits and turns into a strong episode. It's also hard to knock a show that reunites the voices of Adam West and Burt Ward."
While reviewing the fourteenth season of The Simpsons, Victor Valdivia of DVD Verdict wrote: "To be sure, there are some real clinkers this season. Both 'Large Marge' and 'Strong Arm of the Ma' prove that writing good episodes about Marge seem to be out of the question by this point. [...] By normal TV standards these are not unwatchable, but by Simpsons standards, these are the episodes you probably won't watch over and over again."
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