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"Take My Wife, Sleaze"
The Simpsons episode
Episode no. 234
Prod. code BABF05
Orig. airdate November 28, 1999
Show runner(s) Mike Scully
Written by John Swartzwelder
Directed by Neil Affleck
Chalkboard "I can't see dead people."
Couch gag The Simpsons sit on the couch, but get sucked inside and come out on shredded paper.
Guest star(s) John Goodman as Meathook, Henry Winkler as Ramrod, Jay North as himself, NRBQ as themselves, and Jan Hooks as Manjula.
Mike Scully
George Meyer
Ian Maxtone-Graham
Julie Thacker
Dan Castellaneta
Neil Affleck

"Take My Wife, Sleaze" is the eighth episode of the eleventh season of The Simpsons. It aired on November 28, 1999.



After viewing an advertisement for it on TV, the family visits the 1950s-themed Greasers Cafe where Homer and Marge win a dancing contest. Their prize is a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. After Bart educates Homer on riding a motorcycle (which Homer likes doing), he forms a motorcycle gang named the Hell's Satans with Moe, Lenny, Carl, and even Ned Flanders. They get in trouble all across Springfield, until Homer is confronted by a real motorcycle gang named the Hell's Satans, which are based in Bakersfield.

After the true Hell's Satans arrive and punish Homer, by forcing him to eat all his Hell's Satans apparel, for using their name (Chief Wiggum refusing to help Homer out due to an incident where he had called him a “pig”), the group—led by two men named Meathook and Ramrod—start living at the Simpson house, generally being destructive and intimidating the Simpson family. Fortunately, Marge is able to clean up after the gang and take care of them, which they come to appreciate. One day, the Hell's Satans leave — and take Marge with them. Homer goes after them, and tracks the Hell's Satans — and Marge — to a campsite. After a fight with Meathook, Homer wins back Marge. The two of them say goodbye to the gang, who plan to take advice given to them by Marge and find normal jobs.

Cultural references

Greaser's restaurant

The 1950s-themed restaurant has a bunch of nostalgic themes, including:

  • Commercial — Wolfguy Jack plugs the restaurant with numerous 1950s-era references, including:
  • Headlines plastered on the walls throughout the restaurant include:
    • The Beatles — Even though they didn't arrive until the 1960s, the explosive popularity of the English band is acknowledged.
    • Hula hoops — A popular fad during the late 1950s.
    • Milkshakes — A popular treat at 1950s-era teen hangouts.
    • Vietnam War — Although it didn't reach its peak until the mid- to late-1960s, the war began in 1959 and is so acknowledged.
  • Menu items — The following 1950s references are used for the menu items:
    • Allen Ginsberg — Hamburgers named Allen Ginsbergers, for the beatnik writer.
    • McCarthyism — The grilled cheese sandwiches are named Un-American cheese sandwiches, after Sen. Joe McCarthy's pejorative for people suspected of being Communists.
    • Polio vaccine — The hot dogs are named polio dogs, after Jonas Salk's vaccine that would ultimately wipe out the dread disease.
  • Dennis the MenaceJay North reprises his role as the title character of the 1959-1963 situation comedy at Greaser's grand opening. His failure to impress Bart is a reference to Matt Groening's dislike of the TV show which was actually Groening's inspiration for creating the character of Bart Simpson first intended to be a "harder version" of Dennis Mitchell. [1]

Other references

  • American Gothic — The painting featuring Apu and Manjula standing in front of the Kwik-E-Mart is based on Grant Wood's famous painting.
  • Friday the 13th — The Hell's Satans are staying at Camp Crystal Lake, which is named after the campground where Jason Voorhees terrorized teenagers in the slasher film series.
  • Guinness World Records — The TV special the family watches — complete with Lisa echoing criticism about the reliability of the records — is a takeoff of several Fox "Guinness" specials that had recently aired.
  • "Jailhouse Rock" — "Mental House Rock", performed by Johnny Bobby (voice: Hank Azaria) is a parody of the Elvis Presley song.
  • Rebel Without a Cause — The movie Homer watches, about a rebellious biker named Jimmy, is a parody of the classic 1955 movie.
  • The title is a reference to an old joke used by stand-up comedian Henny Youngman: "Take my wife, please".
  • Hells Angels — The Hell's Satans is a spoof on the real-life Hells Angels motorcycle club/gang.
  • NRBQ performs the Simpsons' theme song in live-action over the closing credits. They also provided some incidental music for the episode.


The song playing while Bart teaches Homer to ride his bike, is "Mayonnaise and Marmalade" by NRBQ.

The song playing while the bikers are destroying the house is "Me And The Boys" by Dave Edmunds.


  1. ^ Matt Groening (2001). Simpsons Comics Royale. HarperCollins. p. 4. ISBN 0-00-711854-6. 

External links

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