Homer the Heretic

Homer the Heretic                                       Written by George Meyer
                                                        Directed by Jim Reardon

TV Guide Synopsis

Title sequence


        {I will not defame New Orleans}.  (Only in Canada.)


        Homer yells, ``D'oh!'' when Lisa scoots past.
        Homer yells, ``Waugh!'' when the car closes in on him.


        The couch is missing.

In Canada:
        The couch pivots and the family disappears into a secret passageway.

Quotes and scene summary


 Prenatal Homer.  ``Ah, what a beautiful day in the womb.''  Until the fluid
 drains and a hand reaches in to remove him.  Homer clings for dear life...

 ... to the bedpost, as Marge tries to drag him out of bed for church.
 Homer maintains that it is too cold out.  Outside, a polar baird scavenges
 the Simpsons trash can.  Homer struggles with his itchy church pants...
   One size fits all my butt!
   -- Homer, ``Homer the Heretic''
 They rip.  ``Forget it.  I'm not going.''  Marge scowls...

 ... as she drives the kids to church.  In the car, Maggie removes her
 pacifier and licks the kiddie seat, only to have her tongue stick to it.
   Bart:  Hey, where's Homer?
   Marge: Your father's ... resting.
   Bart:  Resting hung over?  Resting got fired?  Help me out, here.
   -- The Norwegian Blue prefers kipping on its back, ``Homer the Heretic''
 Homer remains snuggled in bed, but reluctantly rouses himself to go to
 the bathroom.
   I'm wizzing with the door open, and I love it!
   -- Homer Alone, ``Homer the Heretic''
 Homer takes a nice warm shower.
   Radio: I hope you're somplace warm.
   Homer: You bet your sweet... [looks around to make sure nobody's around]
   -- Can I say that on this network?  ``Homer the Heretic''
 The congregation shiver in the unheated church, thanks to a broken furnace,
 as Reverend Lovejoy reads from the long version of the Lamentations of
 Jeremiah.  Maggie unscrews the cap from her bottle, to find that the
 milk itself has frozen.

 At home, Homer sends the thermostat up to 100 degrees (Fahrenheit),
 cranks the stereo to full power, and dances around the house wearing
 only his underwear and sunglasses, singing ``Short Shorts.''  He then
 raids the fridge to make one of his patented out-of-this-world space-age
 Moon Waffles, a truly sickening concoction.
   Oooooh...  Waffle runoff...
   -- Homer helps himself to leftover waffle batter, ``Homer the Heretic''
   Mmmm... Fattening...
   -- Homer enjoys a patented out-of-this-world space-age Moon Waffle,
      ``Homer the Heretic''
 Reverend Lovejoy's description of the fire and brimstone of Hell warms
 up his audience.  Muses Bart, ``Aaaaahhhhhh... I'm there.''

 Homer drops some of his Moon Waffle on his chest, so he has Santa's Little
 Helper lick it off.

 The service has ended, but nobody can get out because the door has frozen
 shut.  Lisa quietly recites an Our Father.
   Lisa, this is neither the time nor the place.
   -- Bart tells Lisa to stop praying in church, ``Homer the Heretic''
 Listening to the radio, Homer discovers that he can answer the trivia
 question posed by the dee-jays.  He calls in and wins.

 Groundskeeper Willy turns an acetylene torch to the door in an attempt
 to unstick it.  To pass the time, Reverend Lovejoy reads the church
   Card table for sale, top badly damaged, leg missing, otherwise fine.
   One dollar or best offer.
   -- Advertisement in the church bulletin, ``Homer the Heretic''
 Homer watches a Three Stooges movie.
   Moe is their leader.
   -- Homer's analysis of The Three Stooges, ``Homer the Heretic''
 With a great ``Huzzah!'', Groundskeeper Willy opens the door.  The
 congregation nearly stampede out of church.

 Homer turns on the television, only to be disappointed that it's a
 discussion show.
   We interrupt this public affairs program in order to bring you a football game.
   -- ``Homer the Heretic''
 Homer celebrates victory.

 Meanwhile, Marge's car is the only one left in the church parking lot.  It
 won't start.  Lisa offers backseat advice, then reconsiders.

 Homer polishes off a bag of chips as he watches the football game.
   Oh, Doctor!  A 98-yard triple-reverse ties the score at 63--63!
   We have seen nothing but razzle-dazzle here today, three visits from
   Morganna the Kissing Bandit, and the surprising return of Jim Brown!
   -- Keith Jackson calls the football game, ``Homer the Heretic''
 And as if Homer's day weren't perfect enough, he finds a penny on the floor.
   Could this be the best day of my life?
   [thought balloon:  Homer weds Marge]
   [thought balloon:  Homer dances as an overturned beer truck sprays its contents
                      like a fountain]
   Looks like we have a new champion!
   -- Homer, ``Homer the Heretic''
 The rest of the family finally arrive, cold and weary.
   I, on the other hand, have been having a wonderful day,
   and I owe it all to skipping church!
   -- Homer, ``Homer the Heretic''
 Homer vows that he will never go to church again.
   Marge: Are you actually giving up your faith?
   Homer: [backpedaling] No!  No-no-no-no-no no! [pause] Well, yes.
   -- ``Homer the Heretic''
 [End of Act One.  Time: 6:42]

 As Marge struggles to scrape the goo off the waffle iron, Homer explains
 his position.  Bart supports Homer in evangelical fashion.
   And what if we picked the wrong religion?  Every week, we're just making
   God madder and madder!
   -- Homer, ``Homer the Heretic''
 Marge prays for Homer, while he plays with her hair.  Marge edges away to
 a less occupied portion of the bed and prays in a whisper.  Homer salaciously
 awaits.  ``I can wait all...''  He falls asleep and dreams...

 Homer sits on the couch as the entire house is shaken as if by an earthquake.
 (The TV set says, ``Uh-oh!'')  A shaft of light pierces through the dark
 clouds overhead, the Hand of God removes the roof of the house, and His
 Almighty stands in the Simpsons television room.
   God:   Thou hast forsaken My Church!
   Homer: [in fear]  Uh, kind-of...  b-but...
   God:   But what!
   Homer: I'm not a bad guy!  I work hard, and I love my kids.  So why should
          I spend half my Sunday hearing about how I'm going to Hell?
   God:  [pause]  Hmm...  You've got a point there.
   -- ``Homer the Heretic''
   You know, sometimes even <I'd> rather be watching football...
   -- God chats with Homer about missing church on Sunday, ``Homer the Heretic''
   God:   Does Saint Louis still have a team?
   Homer: Naw, they moved to Phoenix.
   God:   Oh.  Right.
   -- God and Homer talk about the important things in life, ``Homer the Heretic''
 Homer explains that what bugs him most about church is the sermons.  God
 couldn't agree more.
   That Reverend Lovejoy <really> displeases Me.
   I think I'll give him a canker sore.
   -- God, ``Homer the Heretic''
 Homer explains that he'll just worship God in his own way.  God agrees.
 ``It's a deal.''
   Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to appear in a tortilla in Mexico.
   -- God takes his leave, ``Homer the Heretic''
 Homer waves good-bye in his sleep.

 Homer ambles through the backyard dressed in monks' robes.
   Lisa:  Why are you dedicating your life to blasphemy?
   Homer: Don't worry, sweetheart.  If I'm wrong, I'll recant on my deathbed.
   -- Always have a backup plan, ``Homer the Heretic''
 Two birds and a squirrel alight on St. Homer of Assisi.  They remain with
 him while he takes a shower.  ``Guys, please, will you give me five

 Reverend Lovejoy joins the Simpsons for dinner.
   Marge:  Reverend Lovejoy, I had a bit of an ulterior motive in
           inviting you to dinner.
   Rev. Lovejoy: [surprised and angry] What!?
   -- ``Homer the Heretic''
 Homer explains...
   Homer:        God Himself told me I should seek a new path.
   Rev. Lovejoy: [suspicious] Oh, really...
   Homer:        Yeah.  He appeared before me in a dream, and I knew that
                 was special because I usually dream about naked...
                 [off Marge's glare] Marge.
   -- ``Homer the Heretic''
   Perfect teeth.  Nice smell.  A class act, all the way.
   -- Homer describes God, ``Homer the Heretic''
   Rev. Lovejoy: Homer, I'd like you to remember Matthew 7:26.
                 ``A foolish man who who built his house on sand.''
   Homer:        And <you> remember... Matthew ... 21:17!
   Rev. Lovejoy: ``And he left them and went out of the city into
                 Bethany and he lodged there''?
   Homer:        Yeah...  [regains his nerve]  Think about it!
   -- Dueling scriptures with an unloaded gun, ``Homer the Heretic''
 At Moe's Tavern, Homer calls in to work to tell them he won't be in tomorrow
 due to a religious holiday.  When asked for the name of the holiday, Homer
 looks around the barroom and comes up with ``The Feast of Maximum
 Occupancy.''  Homer invites Moe to join his religion, but Moe explains,
 ``I was born a Snake Handler, and I'll die a Snake Handler.''

 Homer answers the door to find Ned, armed with a guitar, and backed up
 by his loving family.  Their mission is to win Homer back to the flock.
 They begin singing, but Homer slams the door in their faces.

 At work, Homer answers the phone, and hears more singing.

 The Flanderses pull up beside Homer on the street and continue their singing.
 Homer pulls away.
   Dad, the heathen's getting away!
   -- Todd Flanders, ``Homer the Heretic''
 A car chase ensues.  Homer crosses the train tracks just meters ahead of
 the train.  Undaunted, Ned drives his wagon through an open boxcar.
 The chase continues to Springfield Harbor, where Homer drives the car off
 the dock and lands on an outgoing barge.  Ned stops his car just in time.
 Home celebrates victory, until he learns he's landed on a garbage barge.

 ``Flay Me to the Moon'', another insane Itchy and Scratchy cartoon.
 Marge tells the kids it's time for church, and Bart asks why Homer can stay
 home.  Marge reluctantly explains that Homer is ``wicked''.
   Kids, let me tell you about another so-called [makes quotation marks with
   fingers] ``wicked'' guy.  He had long hair and some wild ideas.  He didn't
   always do what other people thought was right.  And that man's name was...
   I forget.  But the point is...  I forget that, too.  Marge, you know what
   I'm talking about.  He used to drive that blue car?
   -- Homer's parable of the guy in the blue car, ``Homer the Heretic''
   Marge: Homer, please don't make me choose between my man and my God, because
          you just can't win.
   Homer: There you go again, always taking someone else's side.
          Flanders, the water department, God...
   -- They're all against me, ``Homer the Heretic''
 Homer turns down one last opportunity to go to church.  At church, Reverend
 Lovejoy's sermon begins with a pronouncement that the devil lives among them.
 Bart attacks a man with a goatee before Reverend Lovejoy can explain what
 he meant.

 Homer lounges in his underwear reading a Lorne Michaels interview in
 ``Playdude'' magazine.
   ``Our unabashed dictionary defines IUD as `love springs internal'.''
   Heh-heh-heh-heh-heh! ... I don't get it.
   -- Homer reads ``Playdude'' magazine, ``Homer the Heretic''
 Krusty comes to the door collecting for the Brotherhood of Jewish Clowns.
   Homer:  Wait a minute, is this a religious thing?
   Krusty: A religious <clown> think, yes.
   -- Krusty collects for the Brotherhood of Jewish Clowns, ``Homer the Heretic''
 Homer slams the door in his face.

 Reverend Lovejoy recites the commandment ``Keep holy the Sabbath day'',
 as Homer buys a crate of Duff and a box of cigars from the Kwik-E-Mart.
 Homer notes that Apu isn't in church, but Apu corrects him:  He has a
 shrine to Ganeesha in the employee lounge.  Homer walks over to the
 multi-armed elephant, ``Hey, Ganeesha.  Wanna peanut?''
   Please do not offer my god a peanut.
   -- Apu, ``Homer the Heretic''
 Homer makes some disparaging remarks regarding Apu's choice of religion.
   [angrily] Mr. Simpson, please pay for your purchases and get out and
   [brightly] come again!
   -- Apu, ``Homer the Heretic''
 ``Pride goeth before Destruction,'' proclaims Reverend Lovejoy.

 Homer lounges on the couch smoking a cigar.
   Boy, everyone is stupid except me.
   -- Homer Simpson, ``Homer the Heretic''
 He falls asleep and the cigar falls out of his mouth onto
 the copy of ``Playdude'', lighting it.  The fire quickly spreads throughout
 the house, aided by the oily rags and blasting caps stored in the basement.
 The house is now engulfed in flame.  ``Marge, turn down the heat. ...  That's

 [End of Act Two.  Time: 15:49]

 Santa's Little Helper rushes into the burning living room and tugs at Homer's
 robe.  He finds a Hershey's bar, takes it, and escapes.  The fire singes
 Homer's two hairs, which wakes him up.
   Aaaaaugh!  [finds himself in the middle of a fire]  What do I do?  What do
   I do?  [cough cough]  Oh, the song.  The song.
   [sings] When the fire starts to burn,
           There's a lesson you must learn.
           Something something, then you'll see:
           You'll avoid catastrophe!
   [realizes]  D'oh!
   -- Homer's lesson for the day, ``Homer the Heretic''
 Homer collapses from the smoke.

 Through his binoculars, Apu spots the fire.  He puts on his shiny Fire Chief
 hat and leaves little Jamshed to watch the store.  The young boy cocks out
 a shotgun.  ``I have waited for this day.''  Jimbo, Kerny, and Dolph freeze
 in their tracks.

 The volunteer fire truck races towards the Simpsons house.  But first, it
 must wait at a duck crossing.  Ned discovers the burning house and rushes in
 to carry Homer out.  But his exit is blocked by a fallen burning beam.  So
 he carries Homer to Maggie's room, tosses out a mattress, then shoves Homer
 out the window after a prayer.  Homer lands on the mattress and bounces
 back into the house via the front bay window.  With a sigh, Ned does the
 same.  He finally drags Homer out the now-broken front window as the
 fire truck arrives.
   Homer: Flanders, you saved me!  Why?
   Ned:   Heck!  You'd'a done the same for me.
   Homer: [thought balloon:  Ned screams for help, trapped in his house.  Homer
          lounges in his hammock chuckling.]  That's right, old friend.
   -- ``Homer the Heretic''
 Marge and the kids rush to Homer's side, concerned.
   Our magazines and roach traps...  Gone!  All gone!
   -- Homer remains in a state of shock after the house fire,
      ``Homer the Heretic''
 Krusty saves the cat.  Barney uses the axe to chop the Simpsons mailbox.
 Lisa notes, ``Truly this was an Act of God.''  The fire spreads to Ned's
 house, and Homer notes, ``Hey.  Flanders is a regluar Charlie Church, and
 God didn't save <his> house.''  A tiny cloud forms over the Flanders
 house, the rain dousing the fire, and the damage sealed with a rainbow.

 The insurance representative arrives.
   Insurance agent: Any valuables in the house?
   Homer:           Well, the Picasso, my collection of classic cars...
   Insurance agent: Sorry, this policy only covers actualy losses,
                    not made-up stuff.
   Homer:           [miffed] Well that's just great!
   -- ``Homer the Heretic''
 A Channel 6 mobile truck has arrived.
   Brockman: Fire, Man's Oldest Foe.  Insatiable, remorseless, unquenchable.
   Wiggum:   Hey, it's out!  [cheers]
   Brockman: [brightly] Coming up next:  Which work better?  Spring clothespins
             or the other kind?
   -- ``Homer the Heretic''
 In the kitchen, the firefighters enjoy a well-deserved mug of hot cocoa.
 Homer learns his lesson:
   The Lord is veangeful.  [falls to his knees]  Oh Spiteful One,
   Show me who to smite, and he shall be smoten!
   -- Homer, ``Homer the Heretic''
   Ned:          Homer, God didn't set your house on fire.
   Rev. Lovejoy: No, but He <was> working in the hearts of your friends and
                 neighbors when they came to your aid,
   be they [points to Ned] Christian, [Krusty] Jew, or [Apu] ... miscellaneous.
   Apu:          Hindu!  There <are> 700 million of us.
   Rev. Lovejoy: Aw, that's super.
   -- ``Homer the Heretic''
   Homer: I was rude to every one of you, and you saved my life when you could've
          just left me to fry like the proverbial pancake that I am.
   Marge: Aw, Homer, I'm so glad to hear you say that.
   -- ``Homer the Heretic''
 Homer promises to be in church next Sunday, front row center.

 And he holds his promise, snoring loudly in the front pew.  Homer enters
   Don't worry, Homer.  Nine out of ten religions fail in their first year.
   -- God, ``Homer the Heretic''
 In the background Ben Franklin (Yes, Ben Franklin) beats Jimi Hendrix
 at air hockey.
   Homer: What's the meaning of life?
   God:   Homer, I can't tell you that.  You'll find out when you die.
   Homer: I can't wait that long!
   God:   You can't wait six months?
   -- ``Homer the Heretic''
 Homer wants to know now, so God decides to tell him.  ``The meaning of life

 [End of Act Three.  Time: 20:46]

Voice Credits


    Dan Castellaneta        (Homer, Radio DJ, Krusty, Groundskeeper Willy)
    Julie Kavner            (Marge)
    Nancy Cartwright        (Bart, Rodd and Todd)
    Yeardley Smith          (Lisa, Maggie)
    Hank Azaria             (Moe, Wiggum, Apu)
    \:    and
    Harry Shearer           (Ned Flanders, God, Rev. Lovejoy, Kent Brockman)

Also Starring

    Maggie Roswell            (movie character)

Didja notice...

    ... it was so cold in church, the flower petals cracked like glass?
    ... at the beginning of act two, Maggie was actually eating her food!
    ... God has <five> fingers and toes!  So much for being made in His image.
	God also wears Birkenstocks.
    ... Homer's car window is an automatic?  You'd think a car with a
        ``Hi-Fi'' 8-track would have manual windows.
    ... the sign for Springfield Harbor includes a depiction of Blinky?
    ... the title of Reverend Lovejoy's sermone was ``When Homer Met Satan''?
        (A pun on the Rob Reiner film ``When Harry Met Sally''.)
    ... Krusty was wearing a yarmulke while collecting for the Brotherhood
        of Jewish Clowns?
    ... Ned's eyes separated from his head momentarily when he fell through
        the floor?  (A standard cartoon technique.)
    ... one of Barney's grunts as he chopped the mailbox was a belch!

Movie (and other) References

    + Risky Business
        - Homer dances in his underwear when nobody else is home.
    ~ Mission: Impossible
        - The violin trill as the fire traces the lamp cord like a fuse.

Freeze Frame Fun

Homer's Space-Age Out-of-This-World Moon Waffles

    * Ingredients
        + One bag caramel cubes
        + Waffle mix
        + One bottle Liquid Smoke
        + One stick butter
    * Directions
        + Empty bag of caramels onto waffle iron.
        + Add generous portion of waffle batter.
        + Add one bottle of Liquid Smoke.
        + Cook until burnt.
        + Wrap waffle around a stick of butter.
        + Serve on a toothpick.


    + July 1966
    + ``Don't laugh.  It's a car from Japan.''

Springfield Volunteer Fire Department

    + Apu (fire chief)
    + Chief Wiggum
    + Krusty
    + Some guy with thick glasses and a grey moustache
    + Mrs. Van Houton
    + Barney (drinking a beer)
    + Otto (hanging on for dear life)


    + The pizza menu on the kitchen corkboard has been replaced by a
      note titled ``God bless this mess''.
    + The restaurant on the pier is named ``Smoke on the Water''.

Animation and continuity goofs

Two angles in the post-Itchy and Scratch scene seem poorly-done.
Marge's first close-up shows a darker coat, and her bustline is different.
After Marge says, ``I'll have to tell them their father is...'', the
quick shot of Lisa shows a darker dress.  Incidentally, throughout the scene,
the way Lisa is sitting on the couch really shows off her paunch.

The soot on Ned's forehead magically disappears.

Comments and other observations

References from the obvious to the obscure

No Soap, Radio!

The shower radio was named ``No Soap, Radio!''  If you don't get the joke,
you probably can't.

Keith Jackson

Although the football announcer was apparently intended to be Keith
Jackson, Keith Jackson calls college football games, which take place
on Saturdays. @{mdv}

Morganna the Kissing Bandit

During the mid 80's, an overly-endowed woman would often rush onto the
playing field of a major American sports event and plant a smooch on a
player.  She would then quickly be escorted off the stadium grounds by

Short Shorts

[syracurg@lp.musc.edu] gives a brief musical history lesson:

``Short Shorts dates back to 1958, when it was recorded as a legit
song by the Blazers and also the Royal Teens (and a few other groups).

Marge the mother

Bart's Sunday attire consisted of a brown blazer, brown shorts, and brown
shoes.  (But still with the little white dot on the inside of the foot.
Were they brown sneakers?)  Lisa was wearing her traditional pink Sunday
dress, with short sleeves and a short skirt.  How could Marge have let
her kids go to church in sub-freezing weather dressed in summer clothes?
They weren't even wearing coats!

Homer's coffee mug

Could anyone make out the picture on Homer's coffee mug as he listens
to the radio?  It looks like a pirate but I can't figure out why.
(I.e., it wasn't funny.)

Ben Franklin?

Yes, it was Ben Franklin.  For evidence, I point you at episode [7F03],
in which Ben Franklin invents the sled.  You'll see that the two characters
have the same appearance and the same voice.


Notice that Springfield Presbyterian Church has a somewhat relaxed dress
code.  Hats, make-up, and shorts are permitted.  And one wonders whether
the damage to the card table advertised in the bulletin was Satan-induced.

Homer's story

In case you didn't attend Sunday School for one reason or another, the
traditional antecedent of Homer's story about the ``guy with long hair
and wild ideas'' is Jesus.  As usual, Homer threatens to show a
glimmer of intelligence, but we discover that he was on a completely
different track.


Amitava Biswas @{ab} suggests that Jamshed is named after Jamshed
Tata, one of India's most famous industrialists, akin to Ford in the US.


Now that most of the walls and floors of the house have been burnt, the
Simpsons might discover the gold and jewels hidden under the floor of
Lisa's room. ... Naaaaah.

Distribution notice and Acknowledgments

Blah blah Chris Baird blah blah Raymond Chen blah blah.

Raymond ``You guys have been watching too many cartoons.''[Rugrats] Chen

HTML conversion by
Howard Jones(ha.jones@ic.ac.uk) on Sat 10 Sept 1994