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"Little Big Mom"
The Simpsons episode
Episode no. 236
Prod. code BABF04
Orig. airdate January 9, 2000
Written by Carolyn Omine
Directed by Mark Kirkland
Chalkboard "I will not create art from dung."
Couch gag The Simpsons are a family of crash test dummies that get slammed into the TV as part of the test. The Homer dummy’s head falls off from the sudden trauma.
Guest star(s) Elwood Edwards as Virtual Doctor
Mike Scully
George Meyer
Matt Selman
Carolyn Omine
Mark Kirkland

Little Big Mom is the tenth episode of the eleventh season of The Simpsons, and the first episode written by Carolyn Omine. It aired on January 9, 2000, and is the second non-Treehouse of Horror episode (after season ten's "Monty Can't Buy Me Love") to be rated TV-14.



When Marge is cleaning out the attic and looking for old things to send away to charity, Homer refuses to let her, prompting Marge to look at all the junk she is trying to get rid of. She shows Homer several skis he never used since buying them after the Nagano Olympics. To spite Marge, he decides to use them, so the family go on a skiing trip. When they are there, Marge decides that she wants to avoid skiing or snowboarding for fear of injury. Ironically, she winds up breaking her leg at the ski lodge when a loose-hanging clock falls on it. She goes to the hospital, and Dr. Hibbert declares that she must stay there until her cast is removed.

In the meantime, Lisa offers to take her place, making a structured plan for Homer and Bart to do some of the chores, which Lisa chooses through a chore hat. Unfortunately, Homer and Bart refuse to do any chores, and when Lisa finally prods them into doing some work, they do so in an extremely apathetic and ineffective manner. Marge is enjoying her time in the hospital, due to getting a massage, among other things. The lazy lifestyles of Homer and Bart have taken their toll on the house, which is now a disorganized, filthy hovel with trash everywhere, and with Lisa struggling to make ends meet. She even calls Marge and asks if she can return, but Marge, who enjoys the lifestyle of lying all day in bed not working, lies to Lisa saying she is still too injured to come back. Lisa, angered and desperate for answers, meets the ghost of Lucille Ball, who has an idea to get revenge. She suggests that she pull a clever trick on Homer and Bart while they are asleep. She does just that, and using green poster paint and oatmeal on the men, she tricks them into thinking that they have leprosy.

The next morning, Homer and Bart are told by Lisa they have leprosy from living in dirty conditions. Lisa hopes this will make them clean up the house, but they do not, and instead Homer and Bart go see Ned Flanders. Ned is scared to see that Homer and Bart have leprosy, and so he sends Homer and Bart to a leper colony in Hawaii, where they will be needled and sanded. Once Marge's cast has finally come off (and her excess leg hair has been waxed), she comes home to see Lisa finally finished cleaning the entire house. They decide to seek out Homer and Bart in Hawaii. When they arrive, Lisa admits that she only played a trick on Homer and Bart (They already know the leprosy is fake because Homer ate one of the sores); however, they want to stay there on account of it being a "free vacation", despite the painful electric needle treatments.

Cultural references

  • The name of this episode is a parody of the film Little Big Man.
  • The Virtual Doctor website says that it's from the creators of Dragon Quest and SimSandwich. Dragon Quest is a series of RPGs released by Square Enix (originally released as Dragon Warrior in the US). SimSandwich is a reference to SimCity and its spin-offs. This is further highlighted in The Simpsons Game, where Will Wright claims he created SimSandwich, calling it his "biggest flop" and that its failure drove him mad.
  • During the Goodwill giveaway, Marge says that Homer bought a pair of cross-country skis after the 1998 Winter Olympics.
  • Homer falling off the ski jump is a reference Vinko Bogataj.
  • Bart and Homer trying to get in Flanders' house chanting "Brains! Brains!" is a reference to The Return of the Living Dead.
  • The virtual doctor's line ("You've got leprosy") is a reference to AOL's "You've got mail." The doctor is voiced by the same man who voiced the phrase for AOL, Elwood Edwards.
  • One of the items Homer buys after doing the groceries is an Aerosmith-endorsed cereal called "Sweet Emotions" (complete with a photo of Steven Tyler illustrating the box).
  • In the show Homer and Bart are seen watching I Love Lucy.


Flanders' line, "Feels like I'm wearing nothin' at all!" and Homer's line, "Stupid sexy Flanders..." have become Internet memes.

External links

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