|The Simpsons episode|
|Episode no.||Season 24|
|Directed by||Chris Clements|
|Written by||Bill Odenkirk|
|Original air date||April 28, 2013|
Edward Norton as Rev. Elijah Hooper
|Couch gag||The Simpson family are skydiving. Homer's parachute breaks and the entire family crash into the house and fall onto the couch, which breaks the couch. The couch gag then segues to the episode.|
"Pulpit Friction" is the eighteenth episode of the 24th season of The Simpsons and the 526th episode overall. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 28, 2013. The name is a pun on the film Pulp Fiction.
After crashing onto the couch from the couch gag, the Simpsons decide to get a new couch, but before Marge can go to the store, Homer orders a new couch online from Brooklyn, New York. The new couch is infested by bedbugs and soon Springfield is overrun with them. As Reverend Lovejoy is unable to calm the town, the Parson (last seen on "Moe Letter Blues") demotes Lovejoy and promotes a new reverend named Elijah Hooper (Edward Norton). The town begins to appreciate Hooper and the cultural references he makes in his sermons. Meanwhile, while deinfesting her clothes, Marge finds that her wedding dress has been switched with one of Krusty's costumes. She confronts the clown who tells her that he no longer has the dress. However, Lisa manages to find it quickly.
Hooper and Homer bond and Hooper suggests that Homer could be the new church deacon. Homer accepts, but Bart starts to miss all father-son time with him, and turns to Flanders who is still angry and devastated after Lovejoy left. They visit Lovejoy, who now works as a hot tub salesman, but he says he does not want to come back. Bart, with Milhouse's help, manages to buy some dead insects which he gives to frogs. The frogs begin to invade the town, and Hooper is demoted when he is unable to do anything except talk about movies or music. Lovejoy happily accepts his post back after his voice made the frogs fall asleep.
Robert David Sullivan of The A.V. Club gave the episode a B, saying "The two things that are still usually enjoyable in the show’s 24th season are musical numbers and stories about Springfield under siege."
Rob Dawson of TV Equals said "Is ‘Pulpit Friction’ the first time a couch gag has led directly into the plot of an episode on The Simpsons? I don’t have an encyclopedic knowledge of the series, but it certainly feels unique; And the opening segment, all stemming from that broken couch, is a lot of fun. It’s basically an extended montage of the bedbugs spreading across town."
Teresa Lopez of TV Fanatic gave the episode three out of five stars, saying "Other than a rather useless subplot involving Marge's missing wedding dress, this week's installment was fairly enjoyable with some great The Simpsons quotes."
The episode received a 2.1 in the 18-49 demographic and was watched by a total of 4.54 million viewers. This made it the second most watched show on Fox's Animation Domination line up that night.